Monday, June 14, 2004

Phoebe from Cassini (Astronomy Picture of the Day)

I'll try not to flood mathhut with every other APOD, but with the Cassini-Saturn encounter just starting, it may be hard to resist. I think the Voyager encounters were a contributor to my interest in astronomy, and I remember writing a report entitled "Saturn's Satelite System" in 3rd or 4th grade, so I expect to really enjoy the last of NASA's old style (not 'faster, cheaper, better") missions to the outer solar system. I beleive this is Cassini's only planned flyby of Phoebe (although I'm not certain if another encounter might be possible on an extended mission), so this may be the best data for Phoebe for decades to come. Perhaps studying the light and dark regions of Phoebe will help guide theories for explaining the even more remarkable brightness contrast on Iapetus (which I beleive Cassini will not have any close encounters with). I remember thinking about that for hours in grade school.

Link to Astronomy Picture of the Day & And check the link to the Cassini Imaging Team for more great pictures


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