I did spend a few hours at festival after I closed the museum. Here are just a few pictures.
After Skyping with my grandson this morning (thanks Jonathan!), I decided to check on the progress of the Cassini probe. Last October NASA’s Cassini spacecraft marked 15 years in space As of last fall, Cassini had logged more than 3.8 billion miles (6.1 billion kilometers) since its launch on Oct. 15, 1997. . The spacecraft has made many contributions since arriving at Saturn in July 2004, including discovering water-ice geysers on the moon Encelaudus and snapping the first views of the hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn’s largest moon Titan.
During its time in space, the Cassini probe has sent home about 444 gigabytes of scientific data, including more than 300,000 images. Researchers have published more than 2,500 papers based on Cassini data so far.
The above images taken by Cassini captured this rare look at Earth and its moon from Saturn orbit on July 19, 2013. The image below shows a close up view that has been magnified five times. Taken while performing a large wide-angle mosaic of the entire Saturn ring system, narrow-angle camera images were deliberately inserted into the sequence in order to image Earth and its moon. This is the second time that Cassini has imaged Earth from within Saturn's shadow, and only the third time ever that our planet has been imaged from the outer solar system.
The image below shows the history of orbits Cassini has had around the planet Saturn.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute and NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington