And so the plot thickens.
Enceladus is surprisingly warm, internally fractured and active ...
We have never seen anything like this before. There are spiral structures in the rings, there are gravity and density waves, but they are completely different things.
We've been on the lookout for them since February, 2004. Spokes are one of those Saturn-system phenomena that we are keenly interested in understanding.
These are among the things we hope to learn. [The spokes] are obviously related to a host of processes
and may point to some important effects in understanding the magnetic field and the planet's magnetosphere, and how these systems interact with the rings and atmosphere.
Well, in some sense we should have expected, if the recent models are correct, to see them on the dark side where the photoelectron abundance is low. So, I was surprised to see them. But once they showed up, I realized we should have expected them there all along.
Remember, Voyager was just a flyby, Cassini is in orbit. We have the opportunity for monitoring them and their behavior, their comings and goings, how they evolve, when they appear and disappear.
It felt like the old days, when we first saw the spokes. They are one weird phenomena and it was a joy to see them again
especially since we hadn't seen them yet and were eager to know why.
[Of intense interest will be a Cassini determination of the periodicity in the appearance of spokes. This will require monitoring spoke activity from a variety of geometries over several years.] Cassini has found that the SKR period has changed since Voyager, which though hard to believe, may mean that the rotation of Saturn's interior has changed, ... That would be a finding of enormous consequence, so, we'll be looking very closely to see if the frequency of spoke activity has changed too.
Imagine Lake Michigan brimming with paint thinner.
I'll never forget when I realized there was this connection -- it was tremendous to know something that no one else on the planet knew.
It's been an adventure just getting out to Saturn, ... Saturn is such an alluring photographic target. It's a joy, really, to be able to take our images and composite them in an artful way, which is one of my cardinal working goals. It's about poetry and beauty and science all mixed together.
Cassini is different -- it's a mission of enormous scope and is being conducted in grand style. It is much more sophisticated than Voyager, ... I can't say it's got that flavor of romance, though. Voyager was very romantic. Cassini is spectacular.
I don't think you have to be a ring scientist to appreciate this. I'm blown away.
This has been a heart-stopper, and surely one of our most thrilling results.
For planetary explorers like us, there is little that can compare to the sighting of activity on another solar system body. This has been a heart-stopper, and surely one of our most thrilling results.
We have at last glimpsed the surface of the fabled world, Titan, Saturn's largest moon and the greatest single expanse of unexplored territory remaining in the Solar System today.
We are at this very moment looking to see what the best times are for retargeting, ... Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of them.
We have the smoking gun.
We have the smoking gun that proves the existence of water.
Once the water comes out it freezes, and that produces copious amounts of ice particles.
It was beyond our wildest dreams.
Saturn is the most photogenic planet in the solar system.
We acquired this spectacular, one-of-a-kind set of images immediately after getting into orbit for the express purpose of seeing fine details in the rings that we had not seen previously.