Saturday, February 12, 2011


I am pretty excited about observing Saturn tonight. Hopefully in the next couple of days I'll have a picture to post from the club, perhaps even some video. And the weather looks to be good, it will be mostly clear, with some clouds around 1 AM. And a relatively warm 30 degrees.

What the goal tonight is, is to resolve this massive storm on Saturn. That link shows probably what Saturn will look through the observatory's C14. The storm is that massive white smear on the northern hemisphere. It is several times larger then the Earth, and you thought you were having bad weather this winter. Here is an older close up taken by Cassini, taken on Christmas Eve, just when the storm was first starting out.

An the more literal side, Saturday really is named after Saturn! Father of Jupiter, Neptune, and a bunch of other celestial bodies. God something... and leader of the Titans, which is fitting, with the majestic rings, and 62 moons, traditionally named after other Titans.

In related news, Saturn-day is Caturday! Here's a picture of our cat Reyn:


Anonymous said...

62 Moons? Wow that seems like too many...

Also props on the cat.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Yeah, but most of the moons are pretty small, 90 percent of the mass in orbit of Saturn is made up by one moon, Titan.

Also, thanks about that cat.

Aaron M. Gipson said...

What are your feelings about possible life on Titan?

Astronomy Pirate said...

Life may exist, no real way of knowing until we are on the ground there. Titan has a complex atmosphere that rivals our own, and hydrological cycle that is replaced with methane and ethanol. That said, for life to exist there, it's biology would be entirely foreign, and potential deadly, to us. And those forms of life would likely be more like extremophiles found here on Earth then complex life forms.

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