Ring Racer (Take Two)

I came across this image today while going through the latest Cassini PDS (Planetary Data System) release, and remembered how excited I was to see it the first time when it came in last June. If you missed it, here it is again (with an image fresh off the PDS!) Man, I just LOVE this…

Ring Racer

Man, I just LOVE this stuff. 🙂 This has to be one of the coolest images yet of one of my favorite subjects: Saturn’s moon Daphnis casting a shadow and riling up the rings as it travels along the 26-mile-wide Keeler Gap, a channel it keeps clear around the outer edge of the A ring….

Inside a Black Hole

Unlike the typical artist’s portrayal of a black hole as being surrounded by a massive glowing accretion disk of inwardly-swirling matter, like some sort of galactic bathtub drain, this scenario shows a rather naked-looking black hole exerting a lensing effect on the background field of stars. This is a result of a new simulator application…

A MONDo Idea

Interesting article from New Scientist: A Phantom Menace to Dark Matter Theory by Marcus Chown. In a nutshell, there’s a new theory that tries to explain why stars aren’t chucked out of the galaxy when they are near the edges, like a little kid on the playground merry-go-round. (Hey, it happens.) Newtonian physics say that this…

The Pull of Prometheus

Prometheus’ effect on Saturn’s ropy F ring is evident in this photo from Cassini, taken March 7, 2009. As the irregularly-shaped shepherd moon approaches the ring material in its looping orbit around Saturn, it draws material from the ring in towards itself, warping and stretching the ring particles into waving streamers that eventually settle and…