Sorry for slacking in my updates... new term start.
ESA has a spiffy new "Where is Cassini Now
" Flash animation
Dark side detail of Dione
The icy, cratered surface of Saturn's moon Dione shows more than just its sunlit side in these two processed versions of the same image.
The view at left, with only mild enhancement, shows a romantic crescent with large craters visible. The contrast in the version at the right has been greatly enhanced to show the side of Dione lit faintly by reflected light from Saturn. A similar phenomenon can be seen from Earth, when the Moon's dark side is visible due to "earthshine." The crater at the top of the image appears to have a sunlit central peak in the enhanced view - a common characteristic of craters on Dione as seen in Voyager images. Slight variations in brightness on the moon's dark side hint at the bright curved linear streaks, seen by Voyager. These streaks are thought to be deposits of water ice
Iapetus, the two-faced moon also gets a new photo
The moon with the split personality, Iapetus, presents a puzzling appearance. One hemisphere of the moon is very dark, while the other is very bright. Whether the moon is being coated by foreign material or being resurfaced by material from within is not yet known.
Iapetus' diameter is about one third that of our own moon at 1,436 kilometers (892 miles). The latest image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on July 3, 2004, from a distance of 3 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Iapetus (pronounced eye-APP-eh-tuss).
The brightness variations in this image are not due to shadowing, they are real. The face of Iapetus visible was observed at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 10 degrees. The image scale is 18 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified by a factor of two to aid visibility.
Titan fans are inside 100 days to the next flyby and dose of data
, then another 60 days of itching for Huygens Xmas-eve release.
Ring junkies might tip their hats to this rakish new view.
This dramatic view of Saturns rings draped by the shadow of Saturn, shows brightness variations that correspond to differences in the concentration of the ring particles as they orbit the planet.
The planets western limb is visible in the upper right corner. Three of Saturns moons can be seen here: Bright Enceladus (499 kilometers, or 310 miles across) is visible near lower right; Epimetheus (116 kilometers, or 72 miles across) appears at center left; and interior to the F ring, near the top of the image, is Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across). The F ring, the outermost ring shown here, displays several knot-like features near the left side of the image.
The image was taken in visible light by the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera on July 3, 2004, from a distance of 1.5 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from Saturn, at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 108 degrees. This is the first processed wide angle camera image to be released since Cassinis encounter with Jupiter in 2000. The image scale is 87 kilometers (54 miles) per pixel.
Messenger is due for launch to Mercury near the end of the month, so I'll have to start another thread.