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Posts Tagged ‘Saturn’

Photo Favorites: Greatest Photos of Earth

February 23rd, 2011 Comments off

"Blue Marble" by Apollo 17 crew. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. December 7, 1972

Sometimes after a rough week, a round night or seeing your beloved Commodores choke against the Volunteers, you need a little reminder to keep things in perspective. One easy way to do so is by revisiting the mastery of photography that reveals the wonders of the universe. While the Hubble images are often the most powerfully beautiful and the images of Jovian moons from Galileo or Saturnial satellites (particularly Enceladus) by Cassini are awe inspiring, there’s nothing quite like a few images of this world we call home to keep one grounded.

After the jump, I’ve linked three of my favorites and one which I wasn’t previously aware of, posted in chronological order. You’ll likely want to click on at least the first three images to get a bigger view, otherwise you might just miss out on spotting Earth altogether.

Click on through to keep reading. Read more…

Five Reasons Why Cassini is the Greatest Space Probe

December 30th, 2010 Comments off

A rendering of Cassini's six-plus year voyage from Earth to Saturn.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory based out of Cal Tech has been one of the most successful of NASA’s divisions, particularly the team that has handled the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn.  Although perhaps the most prominent scientist to emerge from the mission is imaging team leader Carolyn Porco (on Twitter), the Cassini probe itself is a huge star.

Cassini is a space probe in orbit around Saturn and was joined in its launch by the Huygens probe, which landed on the moon Titan.  Huygens is named for Christiaan Huygens, the Dutch scientist who first proposed that Saturn had a ring system and who also was the first to observe Titan, its largest moon.  Cassini is named for Giovanni Domenico Cassini, who discovered several other moons of Saturn.

Cassini has been in orbit and operation around Saturn since July 2004, while Huygens’ mission ended with its insertion on Titan in January of 2005.  They have provided discoveries of immeasurable importance, such as the observation of guysers and tiger stripes on Enceladus, the direct observation of methane lakes on Titans and the finer understanding of Saturn’s ring system and the impact of the gravity from moons on such rings.

After the jump, I’m posted images of the five “latest news items” from the JPL mission site.  Each of the items, individually, would be huge news.  That the Cassini team can roll those out as a matter of course is truly remarkable and reflective of the mission’s successes.

Even in the same time period when Voyager 1 reached the Termination Point and the Heliosheath, preparing to enter interstellar space in a first for human missions, Cassini proves itself as number one.

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TEDTuesday: Ideas Worth Spreading for the Week of 8/10

August 10th, 2010 Comments off

I’ve strayed from TED a bit in the last few ones of these.  So why not bring on the queen of the JPL to bring it back into focus.  Especially with the US debut of Wonders of the Solar System this past week on the Science channel, a talk about Saturn and the Cassini probe seemed to be a great idea.  Carolyn Porco is the awesome head of the Imaging Team on Cassini and is a regular on the Science and History channels and the celebrity astrophysicist circuit.

At TED2007 in March 2007, she spoke about Cassini and showed off some of their cooler images.

Click on through for some more science talks. Read more…