APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23)

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APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23)

Postby APOD Robot » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:10 am

Image Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns Ring Plane

Explanation: If this is Saturn, where are the rings? When Saturn's "appendages" disappeared in 1612, Galileo did not understand why. Later that century, it became understood that Saturn's unusual protrusions were rings and that when the Earth crosses the ring plane, the edge-on rings will appear to disappear. This is because Saturn's rings are confined to a plane many times thinner, in proportion, than a razor blade. In modern times, the robot Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn now also crosses Saturn's ring plane. A series of plane crossing images from 2005 February was dug out of the vast online Cassini raw image archive by interested Spanish amateur Fernando Garcia Navarro. Pictured above, digitally cropped and set in representative colors, is the striking result. Saturn's thin ring plane appears in blue, bands and clouds in Saturn's upper atmosphere appear in gold. Details of Saturn's rings can be seen in the high dark shadows across the top of this image, taken back in 2005. Moons appear as bumps in the rings.

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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby geckzilla » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:16 am

It's surprisingly difficult to find out what filters were used for this image. I'm going to guess that this is at least partially infrared. Cassini's filter set is pretty large, though. There are some special ones just for methane, among others...
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Boomer12k » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Always an Awesome sight!!!

Saturn,
Your Rings are wondrous,
Thank you for letting us
come to you.

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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby DavidK » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:18 pm

Extrordinary photo. Question though. The rings are an equatorial phenomenon around Saturn. However, in the picdture, the upper half of Saturn's globe appears to be distinctly tilted towards the equator and is not symmetrical with the lower half of the globe. Is this a photo error or the actual orientation of the atmospheric bands of Saturn?
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:25 pm

DavidK wrote:Extrordinary photo. Question though. The rings are an equatorial phenomenon around Saturn. However, in the picdture, the upper half of Saturn's globe appears to be distinctly tilted towards the equator and is not symmetrical with the lower half of the globe. Is this a photo error or the actual orientation of the atmospheric bands of Saturn?

Are you possibly confusing the ring shadows (which are not symmetric around the poles) with the cloud bands (which are)? All the atmospheric bands appear to me to be parallel with the ring plane, and therefore the equator.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Chappy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:19 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
DavidK wrote:Extrordinary photo. Question though. The rings are an equatorial phenomenon around Saturn. However, in the picdture, the upper half of Saturn's globe appears to be distinctly tilted towards the equator and is not symmetrical with the lower half of the globe. Is this a photo error or the actual orientation of the atmospheric bands of Saturn?

Are you possibly confusing the ring shadows (which are not symmetric around the poles) with the cloud bands (which are)? All the atmospheric bands appear to me to be parallel with the ring plane, and therefore the equator.


Yah, without realizing that the bands on the upper portion of Saturn are actually the shadows of the rings cast on the planets upper atmosphere, it would be easy to mistake the tilt of the planet's axis.
This is such a cool photo, too bad we can't also catch a shadow of one or more of the mo.ons cast on the Planet with this view as well
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby deathfleer » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:50 am

what made the ring so beautiful? combination of gravity,centrifugal, centripetal force?
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:03 am

deathfleer wrote:what made the ring so beautiful? combination of gravity,centrifugal, centripetal force?

It's just a bunch of ice particles in orbit. Human aesthetics made it beautiful.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:38 pm

Interesting to see Saturn "ring-on" from two perspectives as it roams our solar system.

Saturn Above Plane.jpg
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:03 pm

Does anybody know which two moons we're seeing? The one in the foreground, toward the left hand side of the image, is an especially lovely gibbous moon.
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Diana » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:05 am

Anthony Barreiro wrote:Does anybody know which two moons we're seeing? The one in the foreground, toward the left hand side of the image, is an especially lovely gibbous moon.
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Diana » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:09 am

The above quote...
I see three moons in this shot. One is either in the plane with the others and just very much in the forground, or it is out of the plane. It sits directly below the left moon in the plane and about 1/3 of the way down to the pole. Way tiny.

Beautiful composition.
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:20 am

Diana wrote:The above quote...
I see three moons in this shot. One is either in the plane with the others and just very much in the forground, or it is out of the plane. It sits directly below the left moon in the plane and about 1/3 of the way down to the pole. Way tiny.

Beautiful composition.

You have better eyes than I do. I thought all Saturn's moons were in the equatorial plane, parallel to the rings, but wikipedia says that's only true of the major moons, and there are lots of captured asteroids and other bits of fluff in highly inclined orbits. Or it could be a speck of dust on the lens! :lol2:
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Re: APOD: Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturns... (2014 Feb 23

Postby owlice » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:42 am

Anthony Barreiro wrote:Does anybody know which two moons we're seeing? The one in the foreground, toward the left hand side of the image, is an especially lovely gibbous moon.

geckzilla knows, and reveals the answer here.
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