Skip to comments.Cassini Craft Beams Closest Images Ever Taken Of Saturn
Posted on 04/27/2017 2:17:13 PM PDT by Red Badger
Images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the closest-ever views of Saturn's swirled atmosphere and its massive hurricane. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute ================================================================================================================================
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is giving earthlings their closest-ever views of Saturn's swirled atmosphere and its massive hurricane, beaming a trove of images and data back to Earth after the craft made its first dive between Saturn and its rings Wednesday.
Cassini is "showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division.
The raw images are being fed into a photo stream on NASA's website, and while they lack detailed captions and annotations, they provide entrancing views of the planet's complex atmosphere.
In the maneuver that sent Cassini between Saturn and its rings, the craft went over the planet's north pole, where it captured the first high-resolution image of the mammoth storm back in 2013. The eye of the storm was measured at more than 1,000 miles wide.
As Cassini began to cross between Saturn and its rings, the craft went over the planet's north pole. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
The vortex is swirling inside "a large, mysterious, six-sided weather pattern known as the hexagon," NASA has said.
As of Thursday morning, more than 100 images had arrived from Saturn. Some show what look to be ethereal blips and blotches against the planet's swirling clouds. Other images tantalize with patterns of striated clouds and whorls of disturbance.
Cassini captured the images over the past 24 hours, but it couldn't send them back to Earth until early Thursday because the craft was using its 13-foot-wide antenna as a deflector shield to protect it from ice and rock particles. Right on schedule, the craft made contact with NASA's Deep Space Network at the Goldstone Complex in California's Mojave Desert just before 3 a.m. ET Thursday.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute ===============================================================================================================================
"No spacecraft has ever been this close to Saturn before. We could only rely on predictions, based on our experience with Saturn's other rings, of what we thought this gap between the rings and Saturn would be like," said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
All went according to the plan, Maize said, adding that after its dive, the craft that has now been in space for nearly 20 years "has come out the other side in excellent shape."
As we reported Wednesday, Cassini has now begun what NASA calls its Grand Finale, as it weaves its way between Saturn and its rings in a series of 22 dives that will culminate in what the agency describes as "a science-rich plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15."
Looks more like Uranus.
This thing is using 20 year old tech. Imagine what we’d get back with modern-day electronics?
Yeah, -288°F cool!.............
A huge ‘selfie’...................
Not close enough. Still don’t have any idea what those rings are made out of!
Ice and rocks and dust!.........What else is there?.............
That was another mental giant, Sheila Jackson Lee............
I was thinking I might have gotten that wrong....thanks for the correction — I’ll ask to have that one removed.
Did it get any pictures of the flag Neil Armstrong planted? /pretty much Sheila Jackson Lee
Things will warm up a bit at the end.
A dumbass Dem is a dumbass Dem...........they’re interchangeable...............
Oh I completely agree.
Just think of the “brains” it took to elect people like that. Which scares me regarding the future of America....
Back when Dems were in charge of most of the state legislatures, they created ‘minority’ districts for their own selfish means.
To do this, they had to dilute adjacent districts of dem voters.
This led to the eventual takeover by Republicans in the state houses.
The Dems figured the Republicans would get rid of the minority districts, being the racists that they are, but no. They kept them in place because they could cram all the dems they could into those singular districts and essentially corral them all together................
I could never imagine that so many people would be so stupid as to vote for a fraud and Manchurian Candidate like Obama.
I was wrong; very wrong.
Still going strong
If Uranus had originally been named Pluto,
we would have forgotten about Uranus by now.
Or somethin’ like that.
I really doubt it. Have you ever seen pictures of those crazy things?
Very unique and remarkable. Those relatively small swirls are interesting signs of a complex weather pattern or storm.
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