Galileo’s Visit with an Asteroid, 22 Years Ago Today

Launched on its historic voyage to Jupiter on October 18, 1989, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft also got some good looks at several members of our solar system before it reached the giant planet — and one of them was the 12-mile-long asteroid Gaspra, of which it made its closest pass on October 29, 1991. The image…

This is Earth From Juno

Last Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, NASA’s Juno spacecraft made a slingshot pass of Earth in order to get the necessary speed boost to reach Jupiter in 2016. As it came within 347 miles of our planet’s surface, passing closest over the southern Atlantic at 3:21 p.m. EDT, it used its JunoCam (developed by the San…

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft to Fly By Earth Today, Destined for Jupiter

Today’s the day! NASA’s Juno* spacecraft, launched back on August 5, 2011 (I should know, I was there) will get a little help from its friends (that’s us!) as it passes by Earth to get a gravitational power-boost on its way to Jupiter. The exact time of Juno’s closest approach is 3:21 p.m. EDT (12:21…

Rugged Rhea

Here’s a color-composite image of Rhea, made from raw images acquired by Cassini during a flyby on March 10, 2012. The color is derived from images taken in infrared, green and ultraviolet light.

High Over Hyperion

The Cassini spacecraft passed by Saturn’s spongy-looking moon Hyperion yesterday, August 25, and returned some very dramatic images like the one seen here – fascinating! At 15,000 miles this was Cassini’s second-closest approach to Hyperion. It will pass by again on September 16 at just over twice that distance. The closest it has come to Hyperion…

A Close Pass of Helene

On June 18, 2011, the Cassini spacecraft performed a flyby of Saturn’s moon Helene. Passing at a distance of 4,330 miles, it was its second-closest pass of the icy little moon.

A Close Pass

Here’s a close-up look at the extensively-cratered surface of Rhea, Saturn’s second-largest moon, captured by Cassini as it performed its closest flyby yet on the morning of  January 11, 2010. Passing a mere 43 miles (69 km) over the surface, Cassini got a great look at some of the deep craters that literally cover the…

Blowing off Steam

Remind me again why I love Cassini? Oh yeah, because of images like this. 🙂

Enceladus and the Rings

Here’s a surreal image of ice-covered Enceladus with Saturn’s rings in the background, as seen by Cassini on November 30, 2010 during its latest flyby. Amazing! The spacecraft was about 28,500 miles (45,827 km) away from Enceladus when this image was taken. I adjusted the levels a bit to bring out some detail in the…

Spray It, Don’t Say It

Cassini’s done it again…images of Enceladus’ south-pole jets in all their icy glory are in from yesterday’s flyby! The one shown here, a raw image that I’ve rotated 180º (so south is “down”) shows the moon lit partly by sunlight (the sliver of white crescent along the left) and partly by “Saturnshine” (reflected sunlight off…

Plume Zoom

Check this piece of coolness out… it’s an animation made of 30 frames of raw image data captured by Cassini during its August 13th flyby of Enceladus. It shows the little moon’s signature ice plumes erupting from fissures in the surface of its south pole as the spacecraft approaches. Neato!!! I saw it on The…

Details of Dione

Here’s some awesome just-released raw images from Cassini’s flyby of Dione earlier this morning! The low angle of sunlight brings out the detail of the moon’s rugged terrain, peppered with ancient craters of all sizes and gouged by long scars of steep, icy cliffs. Fantastic! Thanks to team leader Carolyn Porco for alerting us to…