Lost In Space – Saturn


Saturn as Seen by Hubble Space Telescope

Saturn as Seen by Hubble Space Telescope

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today we take the series of ‘Lost In Space’ to our celestial cousin, Saturn. Saturn… muse to millions of astronomers over centuries of time. The true ‘Lord of the Rings’ in our solar system, with no compare, no second place and no competition. Since I was a very young boy Saturn has captured, and held, my attention. The second largest planet in our solar system, this mighty Jovian lords over all other planetary bodies circling our star, Sol.

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Before we get too far into the great images, and the accompanying narrative, let me post a few facts about our Jovian brother. Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Named after the Roman god of agriculture, its astronomical symbol represents the god’s sickle.[1] With a surface area of 16.49 billion sq miles (42.7 billion km²), with a radius of 36,184 miles (58,232 km), Saturn boasts a mass of 568.3E24 kg (95.16 Earth mass). The relative gravity of Saturn is 10.44 m/s² and this Jovian giant rotates around Sol from a distance of 890,700,000 miles. That is Saturn according to the science. Now, let’s get to know Saturn visually.

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SATURN

SATURN

(Saturn)

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Saturn is a visually stunning planet. It is not just its rings that make Saturn so visually stunning, but they do help. Until I was a young man, I had no idea that the rings had designations. NAMES! Yes, that’s right the rings of Saturn all have been broken down, and given names and designations. The graphic below, is one of two, which give you the designation(s)/name(s) of all the rings of Saturn.

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The Rings of Saturn with Their Names

The Rings of Saturn with Their Names

(The Rings of Saturn with Their Names)

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I have a little better graphic, coming later in this article, I just didn’t want to go and push my best stuff, right here at the beginning. But, one can clearly see that the rings of Saturn have designations from the letter ‘A’ to the letter ‘G’. The ‘Encke’ and ‘Cassini’ divisions are named after their respective discovers. The ‘Encke’ division is named after the late 18th century early 19th century astronomer Johann Franz Encke.[2] Be sure to check out that footnote link to get more information on Encke, his discoveries (that division in Saturn’s rings was just one of many discoveries Johann made). The Cassini spacecraft and the Cassini division, in Saturn’s rings, are both named after the late 17th century and early 18th century mathematician/astronomer/engineer Giovanni Domenico Cassini[3]. You know, everyone raves about DaVinci, and hardly anyone knows about these other dudes, that just as much if not more scientific research and discoveries. I just guess, even in the Renaissance, just how much a good ‘P.R.Man’ can make to a person’s rep after death.

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Satellites of Saturn, Natural and Man –Made

Satellites of Saturn, Natural and Man –Made

(Satellites of Saturn, Natural and Man –Made)

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Our next image is going to share even more information about these wondrous rings. In the image, below, are all of the moons of Saturn. Saturn’s moons… … … OuI! They number, at this time, one hundred and fifty moons and moonlets with fifty-three having formal names. I am not even going to go into naming them all, right here, My Dear Readers. Suffice to say, the graphic, when viewed at original size, has the fifty-three named moons labeled. Some of these moons, and moonlets, are mixed right in with the rings of Saturn. Now, for your edification and enjoyment, I give you Saturn’s satellites natural and man-made.

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Graphic of Saturn’s Rings and Moons & Moonlets

Graphic of Saturn’s Rings and Moons & Moonlets

(Graphic of Saturn’s Rings and Moons & Moonlets)

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Now that we have explored the rings and moons and moonlets of Saturn, it is time that we take a more inward journey. Each of the Jovian giants are made of up, mostly, gas. Each does have a core of some type of metal, yet the majority of what we here on Earth ‘see’ are the layers upon layers of gases. Hydrogen (metallic and molecular), helium, methane (gas and ice crystals) and ammonia are the major gases that make up the visible surface of these Jovian Giants. IN our graphic, below, we can see a breakdown of the gaseous layers of; Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter.

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Gaseous Interiors of the Jovian Giants

Gaseous Interiors of the Jovian Giants

(Gaseous Interiors of the Jovian Giants)

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Since 1979 mankind has sent nearly a half-dozen probes and satellites to gaze at and examine this Jovian Giant. Starting with the Pioneer 11 ‘flyby’ in September 1979 and culminating with the Cassini–Huygens spaceprobe (see next graphic below). I find it interesting that I am publishing this article on the Thirty-Five year anniversary of that very first flyby of Saturn.

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Graphic of the Cassini–Huygens space probe inserting into Saturn’s Orbit

Graphic of the Cassini–Huygens space probe inserting into Saturn’s Orbit

(Graphic of the Cassini–Huygens space probe inserting into Saturn’s Orbit)

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The Cassini–Huygens space probe was a two step/two stage space probe that left the Huygens portion of the probe on Titan. Titan is the single most written about moon of Saturn in all of Science fiction. Capturing the imagination of science fiction writers for two generations it is just in the past decade that science on Titan has surpassed fiction. On January 14, 2005 the Huygens half of the space probe entered the atmosphere of Titan. Named after the 17th century Dutch astronomer that discovered Titan, Huygens descended to Titan’s surface and sent back the image below.

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The Surface of Titan as Seen by Huygens Space Probe

The Surface of Titan as Seen by Huygens Space Probe

(The Surface of Titan as Seen by Huygens Space Probe)

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My Dear Readers, the image above is the very first image ever sent from the surface of an outer planet or moon. I have, just now, been looking over the NASA/JPL images that were sent back by Huygens… My Dear Readers, my health will not allow the publication, this week, of these incredible images. However, just as soon as I am back on my feet? I think it would be a great adventure, for you and me, to make a whole edition of ‘Lost in Space’ devoted to these incredible images of Titan!

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Icy Aquifers on Titan Transform Methane Rainfall

Icy Aquifers on Titan Transform Methane Rainfall

(Icy Aquifers on Titan Transform Methane Rainfall)

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Now, My Dear Readers, as we wrap up today’s edition of ‘Lost In Space’ I wanted to share just one more image from the Cassini half of the space probe. While passing over the Northern Pole of Saturn, Casinni captured the following images. I really hope that this does appear on your browser and this blog. If you have problems viewing the image below? Please change crowers, like to Chrome or Firefox. If that doesn’t work and you are visiting at Blog Dot com? Drop over to my secondary blog site (www.theothersshoe.wordpress.com) and check it out! FYI! ALL IMAGES at Word Press can be ‘Clicked On’ to see FULL RESOLUTION images! J

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Saturn's North Pole Animation

Saturn’s North Pole Animation

(Saturn’s North Pole Animation)

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With that, My Dear readers, we come to the end of this edition of ‘Lost In Space’. I hope that everyone has enjoyed their visit, here, today. I do work pretty heard to provide all of you, My Dear Readers, with an enjoyable experience… with some science and cutting edge images. I do this in hopes that you will continue to visit my blog, read my work, and that it adds to your life in a positive fashion. I look forward to your next visit, and hope that you have an enjoyable day and an adventurous week.

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Titan Surface BY VIMS

Titan Surface BY VIMS

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In closing, I have made a solemn pledge to not talk about my personal adventure. However, this week begins a journey… I might not publish as often, and when I publish it might not be this long or detailed. Please bear with me as I make this journey, and as always any that wish to help… may by clicking the ad below.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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PLEASE DONATE to

Danny’s Cancer Treatment Fund @ Indiegogo

Danny in Rolling Hills Estates August 12, 2014

Danny in Rolling Hills Estates August 12, 2014

PLEASE GIVE!?!

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© 2010 – 2014 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe


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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

One Response to Lost In Space – Saturn

  1. Pingback: A Week in Review – September 14th, 2014 | The Other Shoe

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