This Week from Cassini: March 8 – 15, 2013

This week from Cassini in images starts here! To get updates of what Cassini is doing every day, follow me on Twitter @TitanSaturnMoon.

On March 9 Cassini flew by Rhea, Saturn’s second largest moon. See my coverage of the flyby here: Cassini’s Last Close Flyby of Rhea.

A Portrait of Rhea
A Portrait of Rhea

March 11 Cassini’s website featured its image of the week: Still Active Spokes. The image features spokes in Saturn’s B ring, Saturn’s small moon Atlas, and seven stars.

Still Active Spokes
Still Active Spokes

On the same day, Cassini’s camera system, the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) captured some amazing views of Saturn’s rings.

Saturn's rings as seen on March 11, 2013, Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI
Saturn’s rings as seen on March 11, 2013

ISS also made “Storm Watch” observations of Saturn, looking at the planet in different filters. Read more about these “Storm Watch” observations here. In the image below, north on Saturn is towards the top left corner.

Saturn "Storm Watch" Observation
Saturn “Storm Watch” Observation (March 11)

On March 13 ISS snapped images of Titan at a distance of about 3 million kilometers (2 million miles), in order to observe Titan’s sub-Saturn hemisphere and monitor cloud activity in its atmosphere. Below is a composite of three images ISS took in red, green, and blue filters.

A View of Titan on March 13, Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI / Val Klavans
A View of Titan on March 13, Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI / Val Klavans

On March 14 ISS finished off its Saturn “Storm Watch” observations in this orbit around Saturn (#183) with a few more images like this one:

"Storm Watch" Observation (March 14)
Saturn “Storm Watch” Observation (March 14)

Don’t let your eyes fool you! You are not seeing two sets of Saturn’s rings. The actual rings are located to the top left of the image — north on Saturn — and their shadows are just south.

On the same day, there was a news feature from the Cassini mission: ‘Hot Spots’ Ride a Merry-Go-Round on Jupiter. Using images from Cassini, scientists have found new evidence that hot spots in Jupiter’s atmosphere are created by a wave pattern also seen in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. The wave responsible glides up and down through layers of the atmosphere like a carousel horse on a merry-go-round. Below is a false-color close-up of Jupiter’s atmosphere. There is a dark hot spot surrounded by layers of higher clouds, with colors indicating which layer of the atmosphere the clouds are in. Read more about this image by clicking on it.

Peering Deep into Jupiter's Atmosphere
Peering Deep into Jupiter’s Atmosphere


Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS (CICLOPS) Rev183: Mar 4 – Mar 16 ’13 (“Rev” refers to Cassini’s revolution or orbit around Saturn)

Cassini’s main website:

All images credit: NASA / JPL / SSI unless otherwise specified.


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