- On Monday, Anthony Wesley took a nice shot of Jupiter with Io on its far side. Obviously, don't expect any surface detail for Io, but still a nice shot.
- Cassini encounters Enceladus, a moon of Saturn that is one of only three moons that are geologically active (the other being Io and Neptune's moon Triton). The closest approach for this encounter is a scant 50 km above the nightside of the 500 km wide satellite. Images are expected mostly from before closest approach, with a best resolution of 200 m/pixel, of the cratered north polar region and sub-Saturn hemisphere. Enceladus enters a 2-hour long eclipse shortly after closest approach when Cassini will fly through the moon's south polar plume, analyzing the dust and gas within the plume (looking for, among other things, trace higher-order organics) and mapping the thermal emission coming from the south polar region, a very youthful area filled with with tectonic fractures, fissures, and ropy terrain. Images and other data from this encounter come down later tonight and early tomorrow morning, so it looks like it will be an early day for me as I work on processing the images that are returned.
- Thanks to Emily Lakdawalla and wanderingspace.net for the shout-outs on their blogs!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A few random items for today: