Lost in Space – Cassini – June 10th, 2015


Herschel's View of G49 Filament

Herschel’s View of G49 Filament

[1]

(Herschel’s View of G49 Filament)

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Welcome back MY Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe. Today I have a wonderful edition of ‘Lost in Space’ to share with all of you. This edition features NASA’s ‘Cassini’ project. We start today’s edition with the wondrous image above taken at the Herschel Space Observatory at the California Institute of Technology. This striking image is of a huge filamentary structures of gas and dust, within our Milky Way Galaxy, named G49.

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While consisting of nothing more than gas and G49 stretches 280 light-years in length with a diameter that is only about 5 light-years across. It is amazing to image that this one filament, within our own galaxy, contains an equivalent mass of 80,000 suns! When we view these interstellar phenomenon, we begin to realize, though our planet’s construction is complete? Our solar system and our galaxy are in a continuous state of flux, birth and rebirth. Kind of makes a person think, right?

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 Cassini CIRS MIssion Patch

Cassini CIRS MIssion Patch

[2]

(Mission Patch for the Cassini CIRS)

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Now, on to the main subject of today’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’. The Cassini project started, on the drawing table, in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was to be the single most ambitious space project, headed to Saturn, in the history of NASA. For astronomers Saturn, and its moon Titan, sparks the imagination. The most mysterious of the Jovian/Gas Giant planets, Saturn has been the focus of scientific debate. From the rings of Saturn to its thirty-year0long storms, to the odd shaped moons to Titan. Saturn is at the center of much science fiction, and fantasy. Cassini was the mission to pull back the veil on Saturn, and Titan.

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Saturn

Saturn

(Saturn)

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Cassini was not only one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by NASA/, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI). It was the one of the largest, and the second heaviest, non-manned spacecraft ever launched. Standing to a height of more than 22 feet (6.7 meters) and 13.1 wide (4 meters) Cassini was an enormous spacecraft. The total weight, at launch, of both the Cassini spacecraft and the Huygens probe was 12,539 pounds (5,712 kilograms). Only the Former Soviet Union-made (two) Phobos spacecraft weighed more, at the time of launch. Cassini was launched October 15, 1997, at 4:43 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (0843 Universal Time) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur launch system – the most powerful launch vehicle in the U.S. fleet.

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Cassini Spacecraft

Cassini Spacecraft

[3]

(Cassini Spacecraft)

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Ok… … … All of you, My Dear Shoevians, all know and understand that I (Danny Hanning-Author/Editor/Researcher/Publisher) am a truthful a person as one could possibly ever meet, right? You have learned of my physical disabilities, just as soon as the get worse. Know when I ran an Indiegogo Campaign for my needed power chair, since I drag my left foot and can barely walk. Know when I was diagnosed with cancer, and what type. You, My Dear Shoevians, know I am truthful and that I will always tell you the truth.

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I started this article on June 5th, 2015 (Friday) for publication last week. Well, on Friday there were problems with availability (for publication) at my primary blog location (www.theothershoe.blog.com). Here it is Monday June 8th, 2015 the following Monday. I got to my blog location, hoping to be able to upload my Mars and Cassini images, and find that it is still ‘down’. (Meaning I am getting ‘502’ and ‘504’ page errors. I’ve checked it is their server and not me). That leaves me with; publishing today’s ‘The Mars Report’ at my other two ‘secondary/tertiary locations.

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I am not happy about this situation. I am now behind-the-eightball’ for nearly two dozen images to upload, uploading two articles, and embedding those two dozen images into the two articles. All that has to be done, prior to my publication at my primary blog location. This leads to frustration, and adds to the obstacles between me and my goal of publishing ‘tri-blog’ as it where. Just wanted to let all of you, My Dear Shoevians, know there are difficulties and I am working to correct them. I hope, that within the next couple of days, the problem at Blog.com will get resolved. Once that happens I will publish all missing articles, and announce the publication on all social media. Now, as they say in the entertainment industry, “On with the show!”

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, there are not a lot of color images that are coming back from Cassini. The black/white images are of the highest quality and are HD in resolution. They are just not in color, and I wanted to warn all of you of that fact. In our next image we see something that had the NASA/JPL scientists scratching their heads for months. When taking passing images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, they witnessed a phenomenon of unexplained origin. Check it out!

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Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn’s Ring Traced to Their Source

Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn’s Ring Traced to Their Source

[4]

(Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn’s Ring Traced to Their Source)

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These long and sinuous threads, that stretch from somewhere near/around Enceladus to Saturn’s rings. Above are some of the best images of these threads, along with a computer simulation that allowed the scientists to figure out where they originate. Enceladus. It seems that evidence proves that these tendrils originate from geysers erupting on the surface of Enceladus. Icy and very strong geysers shooting blasts of sediment, rock and dust from the surface of Enceladus to the rings of Saturn.

 

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“We’ve been able to show that each unique tendril structure can be reproduced by particular sets of geysers on the moon’s surface,” said Colin Mitchell, a Cassini imaging team associate at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author of the paper. Mitchell and colleagues used computer simulations to follow the trajectories of

ice grains ejected from individual geysers. The geysers, which were discovered by Cassini in 2005, are jets of tiny water ice particles, water vapor and simple organic compounds.”[5]

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For our next image I have found, and prepared, a moving GIF. This is a series of several images stacked by an image processing program so that it appears in one frame, and in sequence. I like using GIFs, in my blogs, as they add a little flare and entertainment to scientific material. Today’s GIF is of Saturn’s second largest moon Rhea passing overhead of Saturn’s fourth largest moon, Dione. What makes this image… amusing? Rhea is a larger moon than Dione, yet in this image Dione is in the foreground and looks much larger! Here is “Dione Dwarfing Rhea”

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Dione Dwarfing Rhea

Dione Dwarfing Rhea

[6]

(Dione Dwarfing Rhea)

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HYPERION-

Gotta be, hands down, the single funkiest shaped moon, like, ever! This from a guy that was looking at images of the moons of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in my family’s Encyclopedia Britannica as a boy of 8 and ten years old. I’ve seen icy moons, I’ve seen blue moons, I’ve seen shimmering moons and I’ve seen red moons. However, never before in my life have I seen a moon that looks like a peanut! Well. My Dear Shoevians, you are about to see the moon Hyperion for yourself. Tell me, what do you think?

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Hyperion

Hyperion

[7]

(Hyperion)

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Hyperion was discovered by by William Cranch Bond, George Phillips Bond and William Lassell in 1848. These men first noticed that not only was it irregularly shaped but also that it kept an erratic and irregular (even chaotic) orbit with Saturn. It was Cassini’s imaging that brought it’s sponge-like surface into full focus. Imaging and sounding from Hyperion shows that it has an unusually low density and very porous surface. That gives Hyperion a very low gravitational pull, resulting in impact craters show impacting rather than excavating material on impact. Our next image is a false-color image created by NASA/JPL to reflect how it should look in color images.

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False-Color View of Hyperion

False-Color View of Hyperion

[8]

(False-Color View of Hyperion)

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On May 31st, 2015 (just days ago, when I wrote this article) Cassini passed within 21,000 miles from the surface of Hyperion. TO us, that seems like kind of a long distance 21,000 miles. However, in space? In space that 21,000 miles is nearly too close. For our imaging systems and hardware, this gives us a unique opportunity to gain real clarity thanks to the short distance. This was Cassini’s final flyby of the moon Hyperion. Therefore, this was Canssini’s ‘Farwell Image of Hyperion’.

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assini Sends Final Close Views of Odd Moon Hyperion

assini Sends Final Close Views of Odd Moon Hyperion

[9]

(Cassini Sends Final Close Views of Odd Moon Hyperion)

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TITAN-

For decades mankind has wondered at Titan. The largest of all of Saturn’s many many moons, even from Earth Titan has a yellowish/green surface. Titan is the only moon of Saturn that has dense atmosphere and stable bodies of liquid on the surface. That last one there; “stable body of liquid on the surface”? That one give Titan the distinction of being the only ‘other’ planet than EARTH! Have I peaked your curiosity?

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Good, because until Cassini scientists have been left with speckled images of the surface of Titan.

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        “Typically, Cassini’s radar images have a characteristic grainy appearance. This “speckle noise” can make it difficult for scientists to interpret small-scale features or identify changes in images of the same area taken at different times. Despeckling uses an algorithm to modify the noise, resulting in clearer views that can be easier for researchers to interpret.”[10]

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Here is the despeckling of Titan!

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A New Way to View Titan 'Despeckle' It

A New Way to View Titan ‘Despeckle’ It

[11]

(A New Way to View Titan ‘Despeckle’ It)

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SATURN-

The second largest planet in our solar system, Sol. Saturn is second in size only to Jupiter. A Jovian planet it is a Gas Giant thought to have no surface or a very small surface at the center under tremendous gravitational pull. Saturn has a long standing mystery that adds to its scientific appeal and popularity among younger and junior astronomers and scientists. The mystery of Saturn is the reason/cause for the (well documented by 140 years of telescope observations) enormous seething storms seen every 30 years on the surface. Mankind has been witness to the start of the enormous storms six times in that 140-year period.

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When I say “Enormous’, My Dear Shoevians, I really and genuinely mean enormous. In that they tend to fill entire bands of the atmosphere, fully 1/3 of a hemisphere in size. Saturn is 95 times larger than earth, so these bands would be wide in miles than the diameter of Earth! In my lifetime I have witnessed three different storms on the planet Saturn. The third, and last, started in August of 2010 and ended in August 2011. Considering the next super-enormous storm will appear on Saturn’s surface in 2041, this will be my last storm.

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Thank Goodness that NASA/JPL had Cassini in the immediate neighborhood during this last super-enormous storm! I am still looking for a good GIF for the even, but have yet to find one. If I don’t find one in the next few months I will make one of my own, and share it in a feature edition of ‘Lost in Space’. Here is a series of six images of the surface of Saturn, during the last Thrity-Year Super-Enormous Storm.

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View of Saturn's Violent 30 Year Storms

View of Saturn’s Violent 30 Year Storms

[12]

(View of Saturn’s Thirty-Year Violent Storms – Northern Hemisphere)

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As Cassini initially headed for these icy moons, it took some parting pictures of Rhea as it passed within close range. Our next images are framed as one and show two of the best images Cassini took with its last glimpses of this icy giant. Rhea- Rhea is the second largest moon of Saturn, second only to Titan, and is the ninth largest moon in our entire solar system. The images, below, are some of the best images ever taken of Saturn’s moon, Rhea.

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Rhea-Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons

Rhea-Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons

[13]

(Rhea-Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons)

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, we come to the end of this edition of ‘Lost in Space’. I am pleased to inform you that you have just; read, witnessed, wondered, smiled and viewed the most recent ‘Gargantuan’ edition of Lost in Space’! That particular article designation is saved for use by editions only numbering greater than fifteen pages, when written, and contain twelve or more images. BINGO! This article, prior to editing and upload, numbers 15 right now… I still have the last image… …. My parting words… … the copyright… … logo is coming soon… … an image of me… … YES! It will easily be 17 pages when I upload this puppy!

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‘The Best for Last!’ Should be the motto for both article series; ‘The Mars Report’ and “Lost in Space’. Today shall be no exception for, right here and right now, I have for you the single most stunning… the single most incredible… … the single Best Image of the Edition!

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Saturn's C and B Rings From the Inside Out

Saturn’s C and B Rings From the Inside Out

[14]

(Saturn’s C and B Rings From the Inside Out)

FYI

[This image was taken with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument, which is capable of resolving the rings to show features up to 97 kilometers (60 miles) across, roughly 100 times the resolution of ultraviolet data obtained by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.]

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Awesome. Just frigging awesome. Right there, My Dear Shoevians, that image right there is the why I; research, upload, link, write, edit and publish ‘The Mars Report’ and ‘Lost in Space’ here at The Other Shoe. If, in the past five years of publication, I manage to get to an image like this one to a; thousand, hundred, dozens of people from all around the world that might not, have. If not for me. THAT IS WHY! J

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As always it is my pleasure to bring this material and images to you My Dear Shoevians. If you have enjoyed your time spent here? Please tell others. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell you In-Laws. That is how we grow.

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Thank you!

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Adieu!

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

[1] http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA19340

[2] http://spacepioneers.msu.edu/logos/logos_design_camp.html

[3] http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/infographics/uploads/infographics/full/10735.gif

[4] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/icy-tendrils-reaching-into-saturn-ring-traced-to-their-source

[5] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/icy-tendrils-reaching-into-saturn-ring-traced-to-their-source

[6] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/pia18319/dione-dwarfing-rhea

[7] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/pia17193/farewell-to-hyperion

[8] http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07740

[9] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini-sends-final-close-views-of-odd-moon-hyperion

[10] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/a-new-way-to-view-titan-despeckle-it

[11] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/a-new-way-to-view-titan-despeckle-it

[12] http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4546

[13] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/saturn-spacecraft-returns-to-the-realm-of-icy-moons

[14] http://www.nasa.gov/content/saturns-c-and-b-rings-from-the-inside-out

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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!

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