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Cassini Raw Images
Astro0
post Oct 12 2009, 10:47 PM
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Time to totally blow your minds!!! blink.gif

I was looking through a 159 frame set of images that showed a tiny portion of Saturn's sunlit limb.
There were lots of streaks in the images and at first I thought it was just cosmic ray strikes, but they were too regular and moved in a constant stream throughout the 159 frames. I animated them and they certainly looked very cool....but then...!

I did a gamma enhancement on the images and in the background something amazing caught my eye.... SATURN'S AURORA!!!
Attached Image

OMG!!! In full motion!!! Incredible.

The full file it too big to post here, so I've put a cropped version on my blog here (Warning 3.62mb)
EDIT: Full version here (Warning 9.83mb)

PS: If someone has an explanation for the consistency of the streaks I'd be grateful.
Mystery solved (see post below)!

EDIT: Relinked the above images to versions rotated 180 degrees. It all makes much more sense.
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Reckless
post Oct 12 2009, 11:12 PM
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OMG Indeed that is spectacular.
Very well done Astro0 smile.gif smile.gif

Roy
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nprev
post Oct 12 2009, 11:13 PM
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blink.gif ..Show my mind blown!

What's the interval between those frames, Astro0? Those streaks look almost like co-rotating particles (exhaust condensates hanging around Cassini?) The aurorae are megacool, of course!


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Astro0
post Oct 12 2009, 11:16 PM
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nprev - no idea of the timing between images. If someone can work that out then fantastic.
Image sequence N00143511 to N00143352
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helvick
post Oct 12 2009, 11:16 PM
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Absolutely amazing. I'm also curious about the streaks vs the static points - are they background stars while the static points are just noisier pixels, or are they just imaging\processing artefacts??
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Stu
post Oct 12 2009, 11:20 PM
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Holy frak...

I went to bed last night after scanning the Kepler field of view through my binoculars, and sensing countless 'alien Earths' were within it... I got up this morning to see new images of a billions of years old meteorite sitting on the dusty plains of Mars... now I'm going to bed having seen the aurora of the Lord of The Rings fluttering and flapping on my screen...

We are all truly blessed to be here at this time.

Congratulations Astro0, that sequence will probably go global tomorrow. blink.gif


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Juramike
post Oct 13 2009, 02:03 AM
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Wow!

Nice catch! That is outstanding!! blink.gif

-Mike


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Astro0
post Oct 13 2009, 02:28 AM
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OK Emily solved the mystery of the streaks for me (and helvick had the idea right too).
Rotate the image 180 degrees...kind of a D'oh! moment....sort of the 'mound becomes a crater' when viewed upsidedown blink.gif
Attached Image


The streaks are not in the foreground, they are the background stars.
The aurora makes way more sense rotating around the planet (I've highlighted the horizon).

I've reposted the files to my blog - cropped version here (3.62mb) and full version here (9.83mb)
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ElkGroveDan
post Oct 13 2009, 05:36 AM
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Just fantastic. Congratulations Astro0 on spotting this amazing feature!


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Astro0
post Oct 13 2009, 05:46 AM
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Congratulations to the Cassini team for taking the images. What a wonderful set of observations they have made...and effect they have discovered! cool.gif

There are hundreds of more images in the sequence that I haven't downloaded yet. I expect that there's a lot more to see here smile.gif
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ustrax
post Oct 13 2009, 09:38 AM
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blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif
Now THAT made me forget my tooth pain...Amazing work! smile.gif


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tedstryk
post Oct 13 2009, 09:46 AM
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Great find!


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ugordan
post Oct 13 2009, 10:47 AM
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That's got to be one of the best movies from Cassini, ever! I can't wait to see what it looks like with calibrated data, without the hot pixels and jpeg artifacts. Great find, Astro0!

The aurora seems to rotate, I wonder if its due to Saturn's rotation or if it's connected to orbital motion of one of the moons?


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Floyd
post Oct 13 2009, 04:09 PM
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They could also be looking for moons. There may be one or more moving at a slightly different direction than the hord of background stars. Really interesting.


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ngunn
post Oct 13 2009, 08:53 PM
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Anecdote: My daughter just 'phoned' via computer from Germany and as we spoke I directed her to the aurora animation. She was very impressed. Just one more to add to the number. Well done all concerned!
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