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NASA'S Cassini Spacecraft Captures Saturnian Moon Ballet

Date:
June 22, 2006
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
The cold, icy orbs of the Saturn system come to life in a slew of new movie clips showing the ringed planet's moons in motion.

The moon Rhea glides silently onto the featureless, golden face of Saturn in this mesmerizing color movie.
Credit: 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA'S Cassini Spacecraft Captures Saturnian Moon Ballet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060622071858.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2006, June 22). NASA'S Cassini Spacecraft Captures Saturnian Moon Ballet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060622071858.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA'S Cassini Spacecraft Captures Saturnian Moon Ballet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060622071858.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

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