Thursday, December 22, 2011

NASA's Cassini Delivers Holiday Treats From Saturn

Titan and Dione
Photo 1 of 5
Titan and Dione
Saturn's third-largest moon Dione can be seen through the haze of its largest moon, Titan, in this view of the two posing before the planet and its rings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
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December 22, 2011
The release includes images of satellite conjunctions in which one moon passes in front of or behind another. Cassini scientists regularly make these observations to study the ever-changing orbits of the planet's moons. But even in these routine images, the Saturnian system shines. A few of Saturn's stark, airless, icy moons appear to dangle next to the orange orb of Titan, the only moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere. Titan's atmosphere is of great interest because of its similarities to the atmosphere believed to exist long ago on the early Earth.

The images are online at: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini , http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://ciclops.org .

MORE: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-393&cid=release_2011-393&msource=11393&tr=y&auid=10062273

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