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Grand Finale part 1, F ring orbits
Jaro_in_Montreal
post Jan 11 2017, 09:19 PM
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Nice "propeller" caught by Cassini:

https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/raw_images/403447/
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jasedm
post Jan 12 2017, 06:26 AM
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That is a nice one. Looks like it's in the process of 'clearing it's neighbourhood' too.... wink.gif
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Ian R
post Jan 18 2017, 05:52 AM
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Hey there, Daphnis!

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nprev
post Jan 18 2017, 05:56 AM
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ohmy.gif

That is arguably one of the most stunning images in the history of space exploration. Incredible, Ian.


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antipode
post Jan 18 2017, 05:58 AM
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Holy Crud! Awesome!

P
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jasedm
post Jan 18 2017, 07:15 AM
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Great to see the little blighter up close.
It appears that the orbital dynamics are still very tricky to pin down definitively - it falls outside the FOV in most of the images. No complaints though!
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Explorer1
post Jan 18 2017, 08:06 AM
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So much to unpack in that image. Bizarre shape (are those ridges?) and those 'streamers'? And what is that shadow on the sunlit side? Surely not something popping up from the surface, right? Or is it even a shadow, or some sort of dark material on the surface?

Such a 'grainy' texture to the rings as well, are we on the verge of resolving the largest of the individual particles (maybe those specks on the edges of the gap?). What sort of resolution is it?

I know we won't get views like this for a long time after September, but I can't even fathom where one would get started on designing a dedicated ring mission...
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Phil Stooke
post Jan 18 2017, 01:52 PM
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Amazing image! I have made an enlarged version with a clearer view of the ridges on the surface. I think they are real ridges. The shadow looks like a deep hollow.

Phil

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Therion
post Jan 18 2017, 07:41 PM
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Oh and look at this one! Wall of ice pillars emerging above ring plane..
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jasedm
post Jan 18 2017, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Jan 18 2017, 08:06 AM) *
Such a 'grainy' texture to the rings as well, are we on the verge of resolving the largest of the individual particles (maybe those specks on the edges of the gap?). What sort of resolution is it?


Unfortunately I think that Cassini is a long way away from resolving the ring particles here, and won't be capable during the mission of achieving that.
For context the Keeler gap is ~40km wide, and Daphnis is 8km along its longest axis. I think the grainy texture is clumping of smaller ring particles.
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JRehling
post Jan 18 2017, 07:54 PM
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This feels like we're going back to Kepler and Newton working out planetary dynamics. Do gravity plus Newtonian physics alone explain all of this wackiness? Amazing. The math here may turn out to be more like the dynamics of galaxies rather than anything else we've seen in the solar system.
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alan
post Jan 18 2017, 08:10 PM
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I thought that looked familiar

http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/NXClassPodSide.jpg
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Bjorn Jonsson
post Jan 18 2017, 11:18 PM
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I have looked at almost every PDS-released image obtained by Cassini (the vast majority I looked at for less than a second though). This is one of the most spectacular Cassini images I have seen (and there are thousands of highly spectacular Cassini images out there).
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jasedm
post Jan 19 2017, 06:53 PM
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Interesting that Daphnis shows little or no evidence of an equatorial 'girdle' like Atlas and Pan. I believe it's rotation is synchronous (as are theirs) so there must be another reason that it doesn't accumulate ring constituent particles in the same way as those moons?

Endlessly fascinating this mission.
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JRehling
post Jan 20 2017, 03:03 AM
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QUOTE (jasedm @ Jan 19 2017, 02:19 PM) *
t ~5km or so above the ring plane with a very decent camera might it be possible to resolve individual ring particles in the order of a few tens of metres?


At 250 km above the martian surface, MRO has a resolution of about 35 cm, so in terms of sheer resolving power, what you suggest is very modest. However, the quality of the science depends on the nature of the target. Perhaps the ring particles in such a view of, say, the B ring, would be against a backdrop of other, similar ring particles, making the image blandly or chaotically uninterpretable. The edges of the rings seems to be a better place for observations; even in the B ring, maybe stereo imaging would provide clarity. Knowing what we would see would depend upon knowing the nature of the ring particles, which is the very thing we'd be looking to find out. It seems, though, that high-detail visual imaging of the ring particles is possible, at least in certain geometries.
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