Saturn

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Photography

A Rare Photograph Captures ISS Moving Between Jupiter and Saturn During the Great Conjunction

December 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image © Jason De Freitas, shared with permission

On December 22, Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer together in the sky than they have since March 4, 1226. The nearly 800-year event is known as the Great Conjunction, which occurs to some extent every two decades. In true 2020 fashion, though, this year’s meeting was the most acute in centuries.

Like others around the globe, photographer Jason De Freitas shot the event, although his image is particularly fortuitous because it frames the International Space Station appearing to fly between the glowing planets. De Freitas traveled about an hour away from his home in New South Wales to Jellore Lookout, where he used a variety of tracking equipment to align and snap the 10-second exposure photograph.

Purchase a print of the singular sighting on De Freitas’s site, and check out the video below to dive further into his process. You can follow his astrophotography on Instagram. (via Peta Pixel)

 

 

 



Photography

NASA Releases Photo of Earth Taken from the Dark Side of Saturn by the Cassini Spacecraft

July 24, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Yesterday NASA published a new photograph taken on July 19, 2013, by a wide-angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft that shows a view of Earth from the dark side of Saturn. In the photo Earth is 898 million miles away and the moon appears as just a tiny protrusion off to the right (you might need to see it up close). According to NASA this is only the third time that Earth has ever been photographed from the outer solar system.

 

 



Photography

A Hurricane on Saturn

April 30, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Photographed in November of 2012 by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera, this is a photograph of a hurricane nearly 1,250 miles wide on the surface of Saturn. Via NASA:

The spinning vortex of Saturn’s north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second).

This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn’s north pole captured by Cassini’s imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness. Saturn’s north pole was last imaged under sunlight by NASA’s Voyager 2 in 1981; however, the observation geometry did not allow for detailed views of the poles. Consequently, it is not known how long this newly discovered north-polar hurricane has been active.

The Cassini–Huygens is a robotic spacecraft launched in 1997 for the purpose of studying Saturn. Since arriving in 2004 the orbiter’s mission has been extended twice. It most recently studied the Great White Spot, a massive storm that occurs at roughly 30 year intervals that is so large it can be seen from Earth with a simple telescope. (via this isn’t happiness)