31 December 2005

Dazzling Color

If I didn't know better, I'd swear the fine folks at Cassini were determined to keep me jumping through hoops. It's proving quite a challenge to stay on top of the magnificent imagery returned with such an impressive degree of frequency.

In Time for Saturn, I'd already selected my favorite Cassini releases for 2005. After that came The Face of Beauty which necessitated an addendum to my prior list. That'll teach me post prematurely in the future. ;-)

Well, enter gorgeous addendum #2. Somehow the below press release and photo eluded my radar until earlier today.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cool and icy Dione floats in front of giant Saturn bedecked in a dazzling array of colors.

The surface of Dione, which exhibits contrasting bright and dark areas when viewed up close, appears pale in this image. It is Saturn's multi-hued cloud bands that boldly steal the show. Discrete clouds and eddies in Saturn's northern hemisphere can be seen within the faint shadows of the rings on the planet. Dione is 1,118 kilometers (695 miles) across.

Cassini is in a phase of its mission in which its orbit will be nearly equatorial for some time. This view was obtained from about one-third of a degree out of the ring plane.

Images taken with red, green and blue filters were used to create this natural-color view. The images were obtained with the wide-angle camera on Sept. 22, 2005, from a distance of approximately 803,000 kilometers (499,000 miles) from Dione and at a sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 43 degrees. The image scale is about 48 kilometers (30 miles) per pixel.

Here's the complete press release (including larger-resolution imagery) courtesy of NASA's Planetary Photojournal.

What next? Cassini has developed this nasty habit of exponentially raising the bar for beauty with each stride. Incredible.

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2 Comments:

Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

pretty impressive photography mate

9:20 PM CST  
Blogger Wolverine said...

Amazing, innit?

9:36 PM CST  

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