Yesterday, the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory Operations (CICLOPS) released the latest images from the Cassini spacecraft. The spacecraft took these raw images on 27 January 2010 and show Saturn’s moons Prometheus and Dione. For more about the closer look at Prometheus see the CICLOPS story online now here. For the images and story on Dione, see what CICLOPS has to say here.
The Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) has released the latest images of the Saturn moon called Iapetus. This moon has an unusual surface dichotomy. One hemisphere is significantly darker than the other. To learn more about the story on the global view of Iapetus’ two sides link here. To learn more about the story on the color images of Iapetus’ two hemispheres link here. And to learn about the computer model that has been published in the journal Science used to explain this strange appearance link here.
The Cassini spacecraft is still out in the vicinity of Saturn, and on 21 November 2009 it flew by Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) located in Boulder, Colorado has released a number of the un-processed images from its Enceladus encounter. Check out these images here.
In a paper to be published in a special issue of Earth, Moon and Planets, available online now here, the Cassini Mission team has released a summary of findings made by the spacecraft related to the moons of Saturn. Highlights of the discoveries associated with Phoebe, Enceladus and Titan are featured. This paper by Italian astronomers provides the reader with an excellent overview of the Cassini spacecraft and its instruments. Within the pages you will find fascinating images as well as spectra used to reveal chemical composition.
The Cassini spacecraft is continuing to provide astronomers with a host of information about the Saturnian moon system. One mystery that astronomers have had regards the diverse albedo of Saturn’s moon Iapetus. About half of the frozen surface of Iapetus is considerably darker than the other. In determining what may be the cause of this surface dichotomy, a group of astronomers have come to the conclusion that dust is the cause. Specifically, dust from Saturn’s moon Phoebe has been attracted to Iapetus and had this darkening effect on the surface. To learn more about this mystery of Iapetus, read the science paper online now at http://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0902/0902.3591v1.pdf