Skip to main content

Quoth the APOD:Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

This image of Saturn could not have been taken from Earth. No Earth based picture could possibly view the night side of Saturn and the corresponding shadow cast across Saturn's rings. Since Earth is much closer to the Sun than Saturn, only the day side of the planet is visible from the Earth. In fact, this image mosaic was taken in January by the robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. The beautiful rings of Saturn are seen in full expanse, while cloud details are visible near the night-day terminator divide.

I've got the static link to the APOD on my toolbar.  It's so cool that I can't even be bothered to click a couple times in the "regular" bookmarks.  I find myself going to the APOD several times a day, especially with the image is really  great or breathtaking.

But today's, that view of Saturn, from above, it's only noon, and I keep clicking.  I sat here, this morning, staring at it for 20 minutes.  I've marveled at how the rings are actually all the way around the planet, and how round they are.  I've sat here, dumbfounded that the planet casts a shadow on the rings!  

Every image I've had of the planet for the past two decades has been a little orange sphere with a hoola-hoop, and yet, realisticly, I know it's a warped image.  I know it's not a reflection of the real, and this new picture, of a white globe with perfect circles around it is... I'm still speechless.

I've sat here, staring at that space between the innermost ring and the planet itself.  It looks so small.  It's 66,000 miles from the planet.  Earth would fit in that gap 5 times.

Enthralled, I kept looking.  Surely, if you can see it from above, there's been a picture taken from behind!  And there was:Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn recently drifted in giant planet's shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn and slightly scattering sunlight, in the above exaggerated color image. Saturn's rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the above image. Visible in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn's E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus, and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, visible on the image left just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.

Ice fountains!  A moon wandering around in a lazy circle spewing ice and creating a ring around the planet.  How great is that!

I feel like a kid.  I feel like Captain Kirk at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan when he said, "I feel young."  Today is one of those days when I want to run around outside and scream and wave my arms around for no reason other than it's fun (I might do that later, actually).  

Today is shaping up to be a fairly big day of heavy-hitting news and a whole hell of a lot of propaganda being flung.  So next time Ann Coulter calls someone a faggot, or Fox News lies brazenly, remember, in the grand scheme of things, Bret Hume is about as important as you are I, and we're about as important in the grand scheme of things as the ants outside my window.  Maybe less.  And if Bill O'Reily lies one more time, in the end, who's better off, him, or a guy that has no problem running around screaming and waving his arms around for no reason other than it's fun?

Originally posted to ew73 on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 12:27 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site