PhysLink.com Logo
Black Friday Sale 2017 - Educational Gifts and Toys
Black Friday Sale 2017 - Educational Gifts and Toys

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Captures Saturnian Moon Ballet

Click here for a printer-friendly version of this page.

Posted on: Jun 22, 2006


The moon Rhea glides silently onto the featureless, golden face of Saturn in this mesmerizing color movie. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

The cold, icy orbs of the Saturn system come to life in a slew of new movie clips from the Cassini spacecraft 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 Cassini. The spacecraft is nearing the halfway mark of its prime four-year tour of Saturn and its moons.

Pictures capturing several moons in one frame are 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://www.nasa.gov/cassini , http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://ciclops.org .

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.

< Back to more news

News Story Origin and Copyright: NASA/JPL
Click here for the original news release.


Science Quote

'I believe there is no philosophical high-road in science, with epistemological signposts. No, we are in a jungle and find our way by trial and error, building our road behind us as we proceed.'

Max Born
(1882-1970)


All rights reserved. © Copyright '1995-'2017 PhysLink.com