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Space Science

Using Shadows To Measure the Geysers of Enceladus 27

The Bad Astronomer writes "A lot of folks are posting about the amazing new pictures of the icy moon Enceladus returned from the Cassini spacecraft. However, one of them shows the shadow of the moon across the geyser plumes. This has been seen before, but I suddenly realized how that can help determine the geysers' locations, and I thought Slashdot readers might be interested in the general method."
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Using Shadows To Measure the Geysers of Enceladus

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  • Uh oh (Score:1, Informative)

    by Esteanil ( 710082 ) *

    http://www.ciclops.org/view_media/36124/Tethys_Rev_164_Raw_Preview_1 [ciclops.org]

    That's no moon. It's a space station!

  • News for nerds... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by overbaud ( 964858 )
    by nerds... " I’ve written about Enceladus about thirty two bajillion times, because it’s fascinating, and photogenic as heck" given just how nerdy this is no doubt it will have fewer responses than more mainstream non nerdy articles on slashdot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      given just how nerdy this is no doubt it will have fewer responses than more mainstream non nerdy articles on slashdot

      Sadly, this is probably true, but at least some of us nerds will have clicked it. And possibly even RTFA'd.

  • Nerdy-purdy! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cazekiel ( 1417893 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @07:41PM (#39717749)

    Icons of this [ciclops.org]. It shall be done.

    Gorgeous, gorgeous.

  • ... I thought it was story about geysers of enchiladas....

  • by robably ( 1044462 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @10:40PM (#39719013) Journal
    Seeing the images, running us through the thought process - lovely. More stories like this, please. It was fascinating and wonderful.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1) What sort of freaky small time window and lighting conditions do they need to get a picture at a range of 185 km [ciclops.org], and can they do it consistently? That's insanely close for how fast this spacecraft is traveling across the surface of the moon, and for the lighting conditions.

    2) Unrelated, but what the hell are those things at lower left (and two of them crossing in upper-mid-to-upper-right)this pic [ciclops.org] from a more more sane 17000 km? Ridiculously long crater chains from ejecta, or something rolling/bounci

  • Do we have enough photos of Enceladus' surface (illuminated, from different angles) so that we can look at these locations and see what lies there? Now that could be interesting.

  • by DeionXxX ( 261398 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:32AM (#39720143)

    This article has the least comments I've ever seen for an article on the homepage. Only 16 comments after 7+ hours. What's happening with Slashdot??

    • by 12WTF$ ( 979066 )

      I went to badasstronomy to read the article, but it was slashdotted :(

    • Most of the comments on other articles are opinions. Political articles seem to get the most back and forth comments. This article just presents interesting facts, and simple facts that people accept don't elicit much opinions.

  • So now that we know all this stuff the Bad Astronomer said, I want to lay down a challenge. I noticed the Bad Astronomer included no actual plume information. How tall ARE the plumes? How far away are they from each other? How did you calculate your figures? I won't be able to work on it until after my real work, but lets see if any enterprising Slashdot aficionado can come up with the info, preferably using math, not an online source. Don't make me break out my TI-86 and be the first to come up with
  • A girl in my highschool back in 1988 was used voyager I or II photos (I can't recall which) to calculate the depth of craters on a couple of Jupiter's moons. Which is little different than what the article is describing, but it seems shadows have a lot more information encoded in them. This girl and I ended up winning the science fair and going on to the International science fair, where I felt a bit out of my league. She won a few awards. Apparently at that point no one had thought to do that up to tha

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire