If you don’t subscribe to…or at lest check out daily…NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) you really ought to. Every day I get reminded of what an amazing and beautiful universe we live in and how very very small I am. I remember that whatever I perceive to be my problems actually are minuscule.
Yesterday, APOD treated us to this goose-bump producing video of the still pictures that the Cassini Spacecraft took in its approach to Saturn.
When I watched it I had to keep reminding myself that these are REAL photos. These are not CGI special effects, they are not models, they are not an artist’s conception. Nope they are the real thing and they are magnificent.
Here’s the official explanation from APOD:
“What would it look like to approach Saturn in a spaceship? One doesn’t have to just imagine — the Cassini spacecraft did just this in 2004, recording thousands of images along the way, and thousands more since entering orbit. Recently, some of these images have been digitally tweaked, cropped, and compiled into the above inspiring video which is part of a larger developing IMAX movie project named Outside In. In the last sequence, Saturn looms increasingly large on approach as cloudy Titan swoops below. With Saturn whirling around in the background, Cassini is next depicted flying over Mimas, with large Herschel Crater clearly visible. Saturn’s majestic rings then take over the show as Cassini crosses Saturn’s thin ring plane. Dark shadows of the ring appear on Saturn itself. Finally, the enigmatic ice-geyser moon Enceladus appears in the distance and then is approached just as the video clip ends.”