Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Right Round, Baby, Right Round

At some point, I'll spend an afternoon creating a blogroll. This seems so like making a list in French class of all the dreeeeamy boys I secretly think are supercute with way-awesome hair that I've avoided it the whole time I've blogged. Plus, my first love will always be Saturn, taskmaster, poet, dancer of the spheres. This is the picture of him on my desk. Saturn never gets my jokes.

NASA, winking courier between my love and me, explains:
With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness and sheltering Cassini from the sun's blinding glare, the spacecraft viewed the rings as never before, revealing previously unknown faint rings and even glimpsing its home world.

This marvelous panoramic view was created by combining a total of 165 images taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera over nearly three hours on Sept. 15, 2006. The full mosaic consists of three rows of nine wide-angle camera footprints; only a portion of the full mosaic is shown here. Color in the view was created by digitally compositing ultraviolet, infrared and clear filter images and was then adjusted to resemble natural color.

Saturn shelters the sun, creating a view that illuminates planet and its ringsThe mosaic images were acquired as the spacecraft drifted in the darkness of Saturn's shadow for about 12 hours, allowing a multitude of unique observations of the microscopic particles that compose Saturn's faint rings.

Ring structures containing these tiny particles brighten substantially at high phase angles: i.e., viewing angles where the sun is almost directly behind the objects being imaged.

During this period of observation Cassini detected two new faint rings: one coincident with the shared orbit of the moons Janus and Epimetheus, and another coincident with Pallene's orbit.

Yes, ours is a dark and difficult love I wouldn't trade for all the stars in the sky, however often I've wished Saturn weren't stubborn and uncompromising, and I weren't so flawed a human being. I disappoint Saturn so often, though I love him so.

I hope stormy Jupiter doesn't find out.


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