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Space Science

Cassini To "Skeet-Shoot" Enceladus 41

Posted by kdawson
from the pull-dammit dept.
CheshireCatCO writes "When Cassini makes its closest approach (50 km) during the flyby of the moon Enceladus next Monday 11 August, the spacecraft will be zipping by too quickly to turn and image in the usual way. So the Cassini team will be trying something new: a 'skeet-shoot' of the surface. The spacecraft will start to spin before the closest approach to the south pole so that when the best resolution is possible, the moon will drift through the field of view slowly enough to acquire unsmeared images. Of interest are the eruption-sites on the surface that give rise to the plume extending thousands of kilometers into space and producing Saturn's E ring. This flyby will be optimized for the imaging instruments (ISS, VIMS, CIRS, and UVS) in contrast with the March flyby, which was designed for the fields-and-particles instruments."
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Cassini To "Skeet-Shoot" Enceladus

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  • Oh great (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Good way to start an inter-solar system war.
    • .. a great way would be to do the same, but to tie the famous Hadron Collider to it...
      • > "When Cassini makes its closest approach (50 km) during the flyby of the
        > moon Enceladus next Monday 11 August, the spacecraft will be zipping by
        > too quickly to turn and image in the usual way"

        And here I thought Eve Online was making up a whole bunch of BS in the name of "game balancing".

    • Good way to start an inter-solar system war.

      Except that Enceladus is a moon of Saturn, which is in our solar system. Therefore it would be an intra- solar system war.

      Assuming of course that a moon with no inhabitants somehow had a way to retaliate. But we can ignore that part for now since you were trying to be funny.

  • So I assume they don't wanna slow down once they're moving cuz that'd waste energy and take more energy to get going again and that's the whole problem here. So what happens when it wants to go through the McDonalds drive through on Pluto? (yeah there's one there) Nobody can make a burger that fast!
  • What is with the "Signed" tag that is appearing on pretty much every /. story at the moment? What does it mean?
    • What is with the "Signed" tag that is appearing on pretty much every /. story at the moment? What does it mean?

      The last time we had a spurt like that in tags, it came from the "don't tase me, bro" video. I suspect some goonies will probably start tagging with "dontsignmebro" tags.

      The top results from youtube for "signed" are currently mostly related to Stevie Wonder. I somehow have a hard time imagining him running around applying this tag on slashdot.

  • Skeet shoot? Eruption sites? E ring? Closest approach to the south pole? Unsmeared? ...error, too many possible dirty jokes! AAAH! (head asplodes)

  • A harder shot than high house 2!

    (For righties, naturally.)

    --j!m
  • They will attempt to bend the light around the planet. Angelina Jolie has been suggested as a possible mission controller for this part of the mission.
  • Camera Technology (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Detritus (11846) on Friday August 08, 2008 @01:14PM (#24528069) Homepage
    Someone once told me that the military used a similar trick in the cameras used for low-level, high-speed reconnaissance in Vietnam. The pilot would overfly his target at tree-top level, to avoid enemy anti-aircraft fire. The camera had to compensate for the apparent motion of the target.
    • by Threni (635302)

      > The pilot would overfly his target at tree-top level, to avoid enemy anti-aircraft fire. The camera had to compensate for the apparent motion of
      > the target.

      Let's hope this time the Americans are more successful than in Vietnam, eh?

    • by afxgrin (208686)

      Yep, you can buy the cameras at Surplus Shed actually. (or you could last I checked ... like a year ago)

      I imagine the tricky part is getting the correct film.

      • by Detritus (11846)
        I could probably afford the camera and film. The tricky part would be getting the RF-4 recon aircraft. Thanks for the pointer to Surplus Shed.
  • Couldn't the "unsmear" the images anyways? The smear being essentially a convolution by a line, shouldn't it make it fairly easy to deconvolve?
    • Deconvolutions are generally iffy under any but the most ideal of circumstances, in my experience. With the point-spread function being what it is (complicated, that's what), we're not in the best of circumstances, either.

      • by 4D6963 (933028)
        Good point. As for the point-spread function I figured it could be accurately simulated knowing precisely the probe's trajectory wrt Enceladus and the camera's orientation and exposure time.
        • I actually meant the intrinsic PSF for the camera, which is somewhat complicated as it turns out. We've actually considered de-blurring before, but I don't think we had a lot of luck with it and it didn't seem worth it. I can recall trying to deconvolve Enceladus's bright limb with the PSF before and having that turn out awfully. For these, considering the speed, I think that de-blurring would be neigh impossible.

          (It's also worth noting that we're aiming for science-class images here and not so just pub

    • by speedtux (1307149)

      If you convolve noisy images with some filter, some information is irretrievably lost.

  • rocket science (Score:3, Informative)

    by drDugan (219551) on Friday August 08, 2008 @09:49PM (#24534213) Homepage

    2 wind-up orbits around the sun, 2 gravitational slingshot maneuvers by Venus, one each by Earth and Jupiter, all with only 1 course correction. Then *7 years* later it goes into orbit around Saturn! Oh, and it is powered with Plutonium.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bd/Cassini_interplanet_trajectory.svg [wikimedia.org]

    It then sweeps by Enceladus 22 times, drops a probe on Titan, and does countless other science experiments and images

    this is why the call it "rocket science". wow

    makes you realize how someone might fo'get about metric and english systems.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why should a tiny portion of taxpayer money go to something like this when we could spend billions of dollars on much more worthwhile endeavors, like building a while along our southern border, or bombing developing countries based on bad intelligence? It's an outrage that this country is willing to pour a fraction of a percent of total governmental funding into such a useless program. What good ever came of peaceful exploration and the research and development to make it all possible?

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.

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