Pushing and Pulling

Pushing and Pulling

Rather than being an unchanging disk of peaceful particles, the material that makes up Saturn’s rings is constantly pushed and pulled into spectacular shapes. On the left of the image, the moon Daphnis (8 kilometers,or 5 miles across) affects material as it orbits in the A ring’s Keeler Gap. The moon’s orbit is inclined relative to the plane of Saturn’s rings. Daphnis’ gravitational pull perturbs the orbits of the particles forming the Keeler Gap’s edge. This sculpts the edge into waves having both horizontal (radial) and out-of-plane components. Material on the inner edge of the gap orbits faster than the moon so that the waves there lead the moon in its orbit. Material on the outer edge moves slower than the moon, so waves there trail the moon. See Wavy Shadows to learn more about this process. On the right, the material at the edge of the Encke Gap shows waves caused by Pan (28 kilometers, or 17 miles across). See Ring-Moon Connections for a similar view. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 6 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 3, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 531,000 kilometers (330,000 miles) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 33 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel. 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

Rhea Past Rings

Rhea Past Rings

The Cassini spacecraft looks past Saturn’s rings and small moon Janus to spy the planet’s second largest moon, Rhea. Janus is closest to Cassini here. The rings are between Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) and Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across). Lit terrain seen on Rhea is on the leading hemisphere of that moon. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 11, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 3 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Rhea and approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Janus. Image scale is 18 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Rhea. Image scale is 14 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Janus. 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

Space Calendar August 2 – August 8 2010

Space related activities and anniversaries for August 2 – August 8 2010. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

The Mimas Atlas

The Mimas Atlas

Presented here is a complete set of cartographic map sheets from a high-resolution atlas of Saturn’s moon Mimas. The atlas is a product of the imaging team working with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Mimas, as imaged by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s, has a very large, distinguishing crater that makes it look like the “Death Star.” As shown in this map, that crater is named Herschel. The map sheets form a three-quadrangle series covering the entire surface of Mimas at a nominal scale of 1:1,500,000. The map data were acquired by the Cassini imaging cameras. The mean radius of Mimas used for projection of the maps is 198.2 kilometers (123.2 miles). Image scale is 216.2 meters (709 feet) per pixel. The resolution of the map is 16 pixels per degree. This atlas is an update to the version released in October 2008, see , The Mimas Atlas (2008). Names for features have been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

The Mimas Atlas — Arthur

The Mimas Atlas -- Arthur

Presented here is a complete set of cartographic map sheets from a high-resolution atlas of Saturn’s moon Mimas. The atlas is a product of the imaging team working with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Mimas, as imaged by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s, has a very large, distinguishing crater that makes it look like the “Death Star.” As shown in this map, that crater is named Herschel. The map sheets form a three-quadrangle series covering the entire surface of Mimas at a nominal scale of 1:1,500,000. The map data were acquired by the Cassini imaging cameras. The mean radius of Mimas used for projection of the maps is 198.2 kilometers (123.2 miles). Image scale is 216.2 meters (709 feet) per pixel. The resolution of the map is 16 pixels per degree. This atlas is an update to the version released in October 2008, see , The Mimas Atlas (2008). Names for features have been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

The Mimas Atlas — Accolon

The Mimas Atlas -- Accolon

Presented here is a complete set of cartographic map sheets from a high-resolution atlas of Saturn’s moon Mimas. The atlas is a product of the imaging team working with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Mimas, as imaged by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s, has a very large, distinguishing crater that makes it look like the “Death Star.” As shown in this map, that crater is named Herschel. The map sheets form a three-quadrangle series covering the entire surface of Mimas at a nominal scale of 1:1,500,000. The map data were acquired by the Cassini imaging cameras. The mean radius of Mimas used for projection of the maps is 198.2 kilometers (123.2 miles). Image scale is 216.2 meters (709 feet) per pixel. The resolution of the map is 16 pixels per degree. This atlas is an update to the version released in October 2008, see , The Mimas Atlas (2008). Names for features have been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

The Mimas Atlas — Herschel

The Mimas Atlas -- Herschel

Presented here is a complete set of cartographic map sheets from a high-resolution atlas of Saturn’s moon Mimas. The atlas is a product of the imaging team working with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Mimas, as imaged by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s, has a very large, distinguishing crater that makes it look like the “Death Star.” As shown in this map, that crater is named Herschel. The map sheets form a three-quadrangle series covering the entire surface of Mimas at a nominal scale of 1:1,500,000. The map data were acquired by the Cassini imaging cameras. The mean radius of Mimas used for projection of the maps is 198.2 kilometers (123.2 miles). Image scale is 216.2 meters (709 feet) per pixel. The resolution of the map is 16 pixels per degree. This atlas is an update to the version released in October 2008, see The Mimas Atlas (2008). Names for features have been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

Chasma Crescent

Chasma Crescent

Sunlight illuminates the deep cut of Ithaca Chasma on Saturn’s moon Tethys. Ithaca Chasma runs roughly north-south for more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) on Tethys. See Steep Scarps for a closer view. Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side of Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles across). North on Tethys is up and rotated 18 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 2, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 477,000 kilometers (296,000 miles) from Tethys and at a sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 127 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel. 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

Wider Shadow

Wider Shadow

The shadow of Saturn’s rings grows wider on the planet as the planet moves away from its August 2009 equinox, when the rings cast a pencil-thin shadow. See The Rite of Spring for a view of Saturn with only a narrow shadow cast by the rings. Saturn is overexposed here in order to show the dim rings. Pandora (below the rings to the left) has been brightened by a factor of 1.3 relative to the planet and the rings to enhance its visibility. The image was taken using a compression scheme that decreases image file size for storage onboard the spacecraft, and thus the image appears slightly blocky, or “pixelated” following enhancement. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 24, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 84 degrees. Image scale is 124 kilometers (77 miles) per pixel. 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

Fleeing the Scene

Fleeing the Scene

Saturn’s moon Prometheus, having perturbed the planet’s thin F ring, continues in its orbit. The gravity of potato-shaped Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) periodically creates streamer-channels in the F ring, and the moon’s handiwork can be seen in the dark channels here. To learn more and to watch a movie of this process, see Soft Collision. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from about 10 degrees above the ringplane. A star is visible through the rings near the center right of the image. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 1, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel. 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]