Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Discover magazine gave me a link to these photos taken by the Cassini space craft. I find them absolutely astonishing!  The text came with the photos.

Close-up of the Cassini Division.
Saturn has seven  main rings, named for the first seven letters of the alphabet (A through G). Between them are gaps and divisions, where moons and other debris orbit. Here the Cassini spacecraft looks between Saturn's A and B rings to see the gaps and ringlets contained within the Cassini Division.
On September 3, 2010 this image was taken when Cassini was a mere 276,000 miles from Saturn.

Here Cassini's cameras zoom in on two moons of Saturn: Rhea and Titan. In the foreground, craters are visible on the icy surface of Rhea. The moon is about 25 percent rock and 75 percent water ice. Giovanni Domenico Cassini, the spacecraft's namesake, was the first to discover this moon in 1672, which he named for the 
mother of the gods in Greek mythology.  Titan's hazy atmosphere appears as a smooth backdrop for its mini moon sister. Despite their close appearance, Cassini was still 808,000 miles from Rhea and 1.2 million miles from Titan when the image was taken on December 10, 2011.

This image is a false-color composite of three images showing the depths of the cloud layers. Cassini 
captured these views on January 13, 2008 from a vantage point some 810,000 miles away.  The arrow 
on the upper right edge of the image points to a particularly strong jet stream churning through Saturn's 
northern hemisphere. This jet stream, which appears as a thin orange line, moves west along a 
specific line of latitude on the planet's surface.

 Cassini snagged this photo from within Saturn's shadow while orbiting 500,000 miles from the planet's surface. The sun is behind Saturn here, backlighting its surface and rings in this color-enhanced photo.
Because the Earth is sandwiched between Saturn and the sun, we could never get such a view without the aid of the orbiting spacecraft. This photo op, on October 17, 2012, is a rarity even for Cassini. The last time the spacecraft was able to capture such an image was over six years ago, in September 2006.
Look closely to see two of Saturn's moons hiding in the lower left of the image. Enceladus hovers just 
below the rings and Tethys just below that.

Moon Trio
Taken at a distance of 1.3 million miles, this image shows Saturn dwarfing its three visible moons on 
December 7, 2011. The largest moon shown here is Tethys, which measures 660 miles across, or about 
the same distance as a drive along California's coast. Tethys is visible below the rings on the right side of the image.  On the left side of the image, below the rings, is Enceladus, a mere 313 miles across.  The third 
moon, Pandora, is barely visible in this view. With a diameter of only 50 miles, this moon appears as a 
small grey speck sitting atop the rings on the left edge of the image. It had to be brightened in relation 
to the rest of the image in order to be seen. A Pandora-length roadtrip would be little more than 
a drive from L.A. to the beach and back.

 The description said ‘quintet of moons’, but I can only find four.  Can you do better?

 The moon Dione compared to Saturn.



The Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces, and laid it upon the altar. And then,Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times. "Now," said the teacher, "can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?" A little girl in the back of the room started waving her hand, "I know! I know!" she said, "to make the gravy!"

The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, "My Mummy looked back once, while she was driving," he announced triumphantly, "and she turned into a telephone pole!"


  1. Fantastic! Beautiful amazing photos!

  2. Some of those photos have ring around the color.