Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Despina, Moon of Neptune
Posted on 01/15/2014 9:11:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Despina is a tiny moon of Neptune. A mere 148 kilometers across, diminutive Despina was discovered in 1989, in images from the Voyager 2 spacecraft taken during its encounter with the solar system's most distant gas giant planet. But looking through the Voyager 2 data 20 years later, amateur image processor and philosophy professor Ted Stryk discovered something no one had recognized before -- images that show the shadow of Despina in transit across Neptune's blue cloud tops. His composite view of Despina and its shadow is composed of four archival frames taken on August 24, 1989, separated by nine minutes. Despina itself has been artificially brightened to make it easier to see. In ancient Greek mythology, Despina is a daughter of Poseidon, the Roman god Neptune.
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[Credit: NASA, JPL; Processed Image Copyright: Ted Stryk]
That’s a pretty cool one.
It looks like a Star Trek TOS planet.
That’s pretty cool.
Too bad we don’t have a probe that can stop and hang out for a while as opposed to one travelling 14000 MPH past the thing.
What is the one heading to Pluto, New Horizons?
Let me check.......
Yup, From NASA.gov...
In 2006, NASA dispatched an ambassador to the planetary frontier: The New Horizons spacecraft, now more than halfway between Earth and Pluto, is on approach for a dramatic flight past the icy dwarf planet and its moons in July 2015....
I understand the speed these things are traveling at but it’s too bad that after all it took to get there that we cannot or will not put something into orbit around these outer planets.
That one is lovely for it’s understated, laid-back COOLNESS!:-)
Several years ago I had a Voyager photo of Neptune as my wallpaper. It is easily the most beautiful of the planets (in my opinion). And also the most alluring; so cold, so beautiful, so far away.
Reminds me of this girl from my college days.
Serious question: How far away can these explorers get but we are still able to receive the images? They must be sent as radio waves, microwaves, etc. but without repeaters spaced out along the way what is the max range? It just seems hard to believe that something can be billions of miles away and we can still receive a signal from it.
Voyager 1 is 13 light hours away from teh Sun and we are still getting data back.
Me too, but at least “blue” is the appropriate color...