QUOTE (Den @ Nov 16 2009, 09:56 AM)
There may be a chance of serendipitous discovery of something.
I'm not saying you'll spot flying mountains
, but maybe
anomalous radio reflectance of the Saturn atmosphere?
A saturn rainstorm, perhaps, might have detectable backscatter. But not
detectable except during the rare and oversubscribed close flybys as
discussed before, and ammonia absorption I think prevents Ku-band
radiation from getting down more than a bar or two.
There are flying mountains, but most people call them 'ring particles'.
You can do interesting science with the rings (there was an Arecibo
observation some years back, published by Nicholson et al. in Icarus in 2005)
because the frequency-domain doppler information resolves structures.
But even for the rings, Cassini has to be close to get a useful echo, and
when we are close, the geometry changes rapidly so it is hard to 'stare
and integrate' (remember the rings are spread out in space and velocity
- not like an icy satellite).
Trying a ring observation is on our wish list, but Titan observations come first.
The question isnt whether something is interesting or not, but how to manage
oversubscribed geometrical opportunities with limited planning manpower.