Category Archives: Saturn Exploration

Full exploration of Saturn and its satellites may lead to discovery of new life, orbital mining stations and all sorts of fun paraphernalia.

Cassini-Huygens rocks Iapetus

Various sites are reporting on the recent pictures from Cassini-Huygens. It sent some images home that give some insight into the formation and history of Saturn’s moon Iapetus. The most remarkable feature of the moon is a ridge, a few miles high, that is visible on Iapetus’ forward hemisphere.

“Forward hemisphere? What are you talking about?” Well, like our own moon, Iapetus has one face that always points toward the planet. Thus Iapetus has one hemisphere that always faces into its own orbit, and it is on this hemisphere that most impacts occur (compare the number of squashed bugs on your front bumper to the number on your back bumper).

Cassini Dances with Mimas, Titan, Iapetus

As any space-probe-savvy reader knows, Cassini-Huygens entered Saturn orbit on June 30. Well, it’s been getting no rest since, sending back some very impressive and picturesque photos of Saturn’s surface, rings and satellites.

From the Saturn mission’s web site, there are some recent images — quite interesting and pretty ones — of Saturn and environs. Did you know Mimas looks suspiciously like a certain orbital space station everyone but Julien is familiar with?

Probably the best way to keep up with the goings-on of Cassini and his little buddy is to visit the JPL site from time to time, but an easier (and fun) way is to frequent Cassini’s LJ blog. Friend him (assuming you’ve got a Livejournal account – bleccch) and you’ll be kept up-to date. More or less.