Cassini: Best Robot Ever?

Click it to view the big version and receive your daily monthly recommended dose of celestial gorgeousness. This is an image that the Cassini imaging team have apparently been assembling since Cassini was in Saturn's shadow. (Is this the first time I've ever linked to myself?) As the caption reads:

This marvelous panoramic view was created by combining a total of 165 images taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera over nearly three hours on Sept. 15, 2006. The full mosaic consists of three rows of nine wide-angle camera footprints; only a portion of the full mosaic is shown here. Color in the view was created by digitally compositing ultraviolet, infrared and clear filter images and was then adjusted to resemble natural color.

The mosaic images were acquired as the spacecraft drifted in the darkness of Saturn's shadow for about 12 hours, allowing a multitude of unique observations of the microscopic particles that compose Saturn's faint rings.

Earth is visible in the image, and, if you look at the huge version available at the relevant CICLOPS page, you can also make out cute little Enceladus.

The news release that originally pointed me to this image, also mentions that:

The latest Cassini findings are being presented today at the Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Pasadena, Calif.

Today being yesterday, at least in this time zone. Presumably this means that the rest of us will soon be clued in on the 'intriguing' results of Cassini's Titan flyby on Monday - a flyby specifically looking for lakes. Although, the fact that the first teasing press release about this flyby was entitled: Cassini Flies by Land of Lakes , I don't think it's wild optimism to suspect that they weren't disappointed.


susanna said...

The photograph of Saturn is beautiful, Pacian. It looks like a jewel. Come to think of it, wouldn't creating a series of planet brooches or pendants make for a great jewelry line?

Pacian said...

You know, if it was done with the right amount of style, elegance and imagination, I think you might be right.