NASA'S Cassini spacecraft captures Saturnian moon ballet



Many denizens of the Saturn system wear a uniformly gray mantle of darkened ice, but not so for these two most fascinating of moons. The brightest body in the Solar...
Click here for more information.
The cold, icy orbs of the Saturn system come to life in a slew of new movie clips showing the ringed planet's moons in motion.

In addition to their drama and visual interest, scientists use these movies to refine their understanding of the orbits of Saturn's moons. Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., use the same images, and the orbital positions of the moons, to help them navigate the Cassini spacecraft, which is nearing the halfway mark of its four-year tour.

Pictures capturing several moons in one frame are often strikingly beautiful, especially when deliberately imaged in red, green and blue spectral filters, which allow scientists to create a color photo. One recent color image shows two of Saturn's most fascinating moons, icy-white Enceladus and orange, haze-enshrouded Titan.

###

Still images and five short movie sequences acquired over the past six months are being released today at: http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini, and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt