1. Beautiful Plumage 

    Like a proud peacock displaying its tail, Enceladus shows off its beautiful plume to the Cassini spacecraft’s cameras.

    Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is seen here illuminated by light reflected off Saturn.

    This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Enceladus. North on Enceladus is up and rotated 45 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 18, 2013.

    The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 483,000 miles (777,000 kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 173 degrees. Image scale is 3 miles (5 kilometers) per pixel.

    The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

    For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is athttp://ciclops.org.

    Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
    Image Addition Date:2013-04-29

     

  2. n-a-s-a:

    Crescent Neptune and Triton

    Image Credit: Voyager 2, NASA

     

  3. Mimas Peeks Over Saturn

    Saturn and its north polar hexagon dwarf Mimas as the moon peeks over the planet’s limb. Saturn’s A ring also makes an appearance on the far right. Mimas is 246 miles (396 kilometers) across.

    Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
    Image Addition Date:2013-03-18

     

  4. Colorful Colossuses and Changing Hues 

    A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

    Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, measures 3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers, across and is larger than the planet Mercury. Cassini scientists have been watching the moon’s south pole since a vortex appeared in its atmosphere in 2012. See PIA14919 and PIA14920 to learn more about this mass of swirling gas around the pole in the atmosphere of the moon.

    This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ring plane.

    This mosaic combines six images — two each of red, green and blue spectral filters — to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 6, 2012, at a distance of approximately 483,000 miles (778,000 kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 29 miles (46 kilometers) per pixel on Titan.

    Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
    Image Addition Date:2012-08-29

     

  5. A Moon-size Line Up (Artist’s Concept) 

    NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star like our sun, approximately 210 light-years away in the constellation Lyra.

    The line up compares artist’s concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the third planet, is twice the size of Earth.

    A “year” on these planets is very short. Kepler-37b orbits its host star every 13 days at less than one-third the distance Mercury is to the sun. The other two planets, Kepler-37c and Kepler-37d, orbit their star every 21 and 40 days. All three planets have orbits lying less than the distance Mercury is to the sun, suggesting that they are very hot, inhospitable worlds.

    NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages Kepler’s ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. JPL managed the Kepler mission’s development.

    For more information about the Kepler mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler.

    Image Credit:NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

     

  6. jtotheizzoe:

    Logarithmic Astronomy

    What a photo! If you looked to the skies last night (January 21st), you may have noticed a bright point of light nearly on top of the Moon. That was Jupiter! Last night was the closest they will come (an event called “conjunction”) until 2026.

    Their nearly intersecting “paths” through the sky are only due to our Earthly perspective, of course. Many things in the night sky will appear next to each other if we just wait long enough. What’s especially cool about this photograph is that it captures three levels of astronomical complexity in one image.

    First we have our terrestrial satellite, Luna, with the “terminator” line of day/night stretched across a large, dark volcanic plain known as the “Ocean of Storms”, which is an awesome name for a volcanic plain. The next brightest image is Jupiter, our solar system’s largest planet/failed star. And those dots around Jupiter? Those are three of its Galilean moons! The photographer’s Facebook page says there’s four moons of Jupiter in this shot, but I only see three. If we are seeing them in their increasing distance from Jupiter (and that’s a big if, since perspective can play tricks on us), they are probably Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

    It’s like peeling back the layers of an astronomical onion, in a single photo. Great work by Chris Levitan, check out his Facebook page.

    (via spaceandstuffidk)

     

  7. PIA14640: Saturn Looms

    Janus is spotted over Saturn’s north pole in this image while Mimas’ shadow glides across Saturn.

    Janus is the faint dot that appears just above Saturn’s north pole. Mimas’ shadow can be seen in the southern hemisphere of Saturn, south of the rings’ shadow. (Both objects are easier to find in higher resolution versions.)

    This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 25 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 24, 2012.

    The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 80 degrees. Image scale is 94 miles (152 kilometers) per pixel. Janus has been brightened by a factor of 1.3 relative to Saturn to enhance its visibility.

    The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

    For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

    Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science InstituteImage Addition Date:2012-12-24

     

  8. expose-the-light:

    The Rings and Moons of Saturn

    (via n-a-s-a)

     

  9. n-a-s-a:

    Enceladus Backlit by Saturn

    Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA 

     

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  11. Many Bright Clouds on Uranus

    A recent Hubble Space Telescope view reveals Uranus surrounded by its four major rings and by 10 of its 17 known satellites. This false-color image was generated by Erich Karkoschka using data taken on August 8, 1998, with Hubble’s Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer.

    Credit: Erich Karkoschka (University of Arizona) and NASA/ESA 

     

  12. discoverynews:

    Hanging Out With Janus, Saturn’s Dinky Moon

    If you were riding along with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on March 27 (and could see in infrared and ultraviolet!) you’d have gotten this view of Saturn’s moon Janus as it passed in front of the the gas giant’s sandy-toned face.

    keep reading

     

  13. Quadruple Saturn moon transit snapped by Hubble

    This close-up view of Saturn’s disc captures the transit of several moons across the face of the gas giant planet. The giant orange moon Titan — larger than the planet Mercury — can be seen at upper right. The white icy moons that are much closer to Saturn, hence much closer to the ring plane in this view, are, from left to right: Enceladus, Dione, and Mimas. The dark band running across the face of the planet slightly above the rings is the shadow of the rings cast on the planet. This picture was taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on 24 February 2009, when Saturn was at a distance of roughly 1.25 billion kilometres from Earth. Hubble can see details as small as 300 kilometres across on Saturn.

    Credit:

    NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Acknowledgment: M. Wong (STScI/UC Berkeley) and C. Go (Philippines)

     

  14. fuckyeahsolarsystem:

    infinity-imagined:

    Jupiter and its moons; Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

    One of the first photos that got me lots of followers was this one right here, of Io. Seriously, I might just need to do a whole week (maybe in the Summer - I’m waaay to busy right now) dedicated to the different moons in our solar system.

    I did do a week dedicated to Io in 2010.

    (via itsfullofstars)

     

  15. itsfullofstars:

    10 Moons Every Person Should Know

    Pretty much everyone can rattle off the names of our solar system’s eight (formerly nine) planets, but ask the average person to list some moons and you’ll be lucky if they can tell you more than two or three.

    Now, you obviously can’t expect people to remember the name of every single satellite in the solar system (after all, they outnumber the planets by around 20 to 1), but if you have even the slightest interest in astronomy, it wouldn’t kill you to be familiar with at least an even ten. So with that in mind, we’ve assembled this reference guide to ten of the solar system’s most noteworthy moons.