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Saturn's Rings To Shine As Never Before
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post Sep 16 2006, 10:19 AM
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http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features/feature20060915.cfm

Ring scientists have been waiting for this. Finally, after more than two years orbiting Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft reaches one of the ultimate vantage points. The rings should shine with majesty worthy of the "Jewel of the Solar System."
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jsheff
post Sep 16 2006, 12:16 PM
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It doesn't say, but the Solar System Simulator shows the occultation - of the planet, not the rings - occurring from about 7:00 UTC to 23:00 UTC on the 15th, which is 3:00 AM EDT -7:00 PM EDT on the 15th. And it does say the images will be sent to Earth on the 17th. They should be spectacular!
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Rob Pinnegar
post Sep 17 2006, 05:25 PM
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I am looking forward to this one too.

Another interesting thing about this set of observations is that, given the long exposure times needed to bring out details in the D, G and E rings, we're probably going to see the inner planets in some of the images. Earth, and especially Venus, will be easiest; each should fill up about a fifth of a pixel (in the wide angle camera).

As luck would have it, the Moon was almost at its greatest elongation from Earth, as seen from Saturn, on September 15th. Seen through the wide-angle camera, it should be about four pixels away from the Earth, and about four magnitudes fainter. I wonder if it will be visible? Guess it will depend on the amount of smearing due to spacecraft motion (which, now that I think of it, would likely cause the Earth to overwrite the Moon anyways).
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john_s
post Sep 17 2006, 07:52 PM
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First images are now posted, including some remarkable, though overexposed, images of sunset behind Saturn...

Shouldn't this thread be moved to the Cassini subforum?

John.
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ugordan
post Sep 17 2006, 08:05 PM
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Amazing how bright the "gap" between the outer edge of A ring and the F ring is here. The F ring is brilliant and the Encke gap is notably dusty as well.
It's a shame a vast sequence of Saturn's limb, multi-filter frames got severly overexposed and suffers from charge bleeding. Hopefully the wide-angles will turn out better.


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john_s
post Sep 17 2006, 08:53 PM
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Here's the money shot - Earth (just below the A-ring ansa), Enceladus+plume (upper right), and the E and G rings, as well as the main ring system! North is at the bottom.

John.
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alan
post Sep 17 2006, 08:54 PM
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Spokes in the E-ring?
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018033.jpg
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018036.jpg

Enceladus in the E-ring
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018011.jpg

E-ring distorted by Enceladus
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00017915.jpg

Diamond ring effect
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00017924.jpg
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paxdan
post Sep 17 2006, 09:06 PM
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Ba-Zing!.

Diamond ring.

The stitched/processed HDR version of this image set is going to be utterly spectacular. My thanks to all involved in the mission for the amazing images and the opportunity for nerds like me to see them when they come down.
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volcanopele
post Sep 17 2006, 09:14 PM
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okay, this one requires an explanation:

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/imag...3/W00018018.jpg


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djellison
post Sep 17 2006, 09:21 PM
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The dynamic range involved in trying to capture the 'halo', the lit rings, and the E ring makes it almost impossible to capture in one image - but this is my best guess.

I see that the sequence made the effort to do multiple exposures in each filter set - but there was some down-sampling in some of the exposures. When this lot hits the PDS I'm sure Bjorn et al will work wonders on it smile.gif Vio+IR is just enough to make something interesting biggrin.gif

By explanation - would it be enough to say that just about everything is saturated and scattering of light from the rings is lighting the 'eclipsed' rings as well?

Doug
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alan
post Sep 17 2006, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Sep 17 2006, 04:14 PM) *


Reflection of opposition surge off the cloud tops?

Edit : scratch that, the pattern is wrong.

Sunlight reflected of rings onto Saturn, Dark bands are areas where light from cloud tops is blocked by A and B rings. Bright area is cut of in curve at the bottom because this area is north of equator so no sunlight reflected directly from rings
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Ant103
post Sep 17 2006, 09:25 PM
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Vision of dream... ohmy.gif

Are we in Pitch Black?

Note : we see clearly the shadow of the secondary miror of the objective of the camera on the first pic.


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paxdan
post Sep 17 2006, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Sep 17 2006, 10:14 PM) *
okay, this one requires an explanation:

I guess the rings are being lit by light diffracted by the atmosphere (like the red/orange moon seen during a lunar eclispe) and also that reflected from the rings.

Edit: please ignore my above comment.
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Ant103
post Sep 17 2006, 09:45 PM
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And a color pic of the "pitch black" scene :
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JTN
post Sep 17 2006, 10:19 PM
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In this one, what's the overexposed elliptical feature inside the limb? Is it an artifact?

It couldn't be a highly-refracted image of the Sun's disc, could it? (I assume not -- isn't that what the continuous ring all the way around the limb is, effectively?)

In neighbouring images (which I guess let more light in) the same region bleeds vertically (1, 2, 3).
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