Hello, World

All I can say is ” 🙂 “. On its way back for its third and last flyby on Nov. 13, 2009, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft captured this beautiful photo of our planet. The illuminated crescent shows the south polar region, with some of Antarctica’s sea ice reflecting brightly through the swirling clouds….

Composition in White

949-mile-wide Rhea floats in front of the rings and the brightly-lit face of Saturn in this image from Cassini, taken on November 8. The face of Saturn, overexposed here in order to see detail in the rings and Rhea, appears as bright white, making a dramatic studio backdrop. The planet’s uppermost atmospheric haze is also…

Sister Moons

Little Tethys is getting a lot of face time in front of Cassini’s lens. In this photo, from a raw image taken on October 17, Tethys passes across the hazy face of her much larger sister, Titan. 662-mile-wide Tethys is dwarfed by the 3,200-mile-wide Titan, although the distance that separates them in this image reduces…

Full Moon

Here’s an amazing portrait of Tethys, a 662-mile-wide, airless and  heavily-cratered moon of Saturn. The photo was taken by Cassini on October 14, 2009, with the moon fully lit by the sun. Its high reflectivity (albedo) indicate a large amount of ice in its composition. I adjusted the image to bring out the details in…

Thin Grey Line

Saturn’s expansive rings cast but a thin line of a shadow across its equator in this beautiful high-angle view taken by Cassini on July 18, 2009. The rings, normally overexposed in images to make them more visible, are instead underexposed here so some of the details of Saturn’s atmosphere can be seen. Intricate banding of…