Wednesday, July 16, 2008

cassini continues...

the cassini space craft that is floating around saturn has finished its 4 year mission. many fantastic images have come from this mission, and luckily for us, cassini started an extended 2-year mission on july 1, 2008!!

here are a couple anniversary shots recently released....

in this picture you can see the moon, mimas, in the top left and you can see the shadow of the moon, enceladus, on the surface of saturn.

in both images you can see the shadows of the rings on the northern hemisphere of the planet. over the next year, we will see less and less of the ring shadows, both from cassini and from earth, as the plane of the rings lines up with the sun. the ring shadows line up exactly with saturn's horizon during saturns vernal equinox on august 11, 2009! afterwards, the shadows will appear on the southern hemisphere of the planet.

you can still see saturn in the western horizon at sunset, with mars nearby!

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