28 – Goodbye Cassini

I have a personal connection to Cassini. My Uncle Frank worked on Cassini at NASA. I will always remember when he was telling me about Cassini just after the launch. I was 14/15, and he was telling me it would take 7 years and that blew my mind.

Sadly, Uncle Frank didn’t live to see Cassini through to its end. It saddens me, but it will always be a part of his legacy.

And as for Cassini itself… thank you, Cassini, for what you’ve taught us about our ringed friend and its moons. We have learned SO MUCH. And there is still data coming in, thanks to your Grand Finale! <3

27 – Pan’s Plan

NASA’s Cassini probe just recently captured these amazing close-up shots of Saturn’s ring-grazing moon, Pan. A lot of people have been relating the shape to food, like raviolis or dumplings or empanadas. But I have a different idea of what Pan is going for… 😉

Photo Credit: NASA

23 – Planet X

The theory of a large planet lurking somewhere far past Neptune has been around for a while. But just recently scientists have found some real evidence for its existence. They say there are objects in the Kuiper Belt that wouldn’t move they way they do if that planet was not there. The alleged planet is so far away that we can’t see it from here, so who knows how long it will be until we can capture a picture of it, assuming it even exists!

Real or not, how do you think Pluto feels about everyone already calling this mysterious object a planet? 😉

22 – New Horizons

NASA’s New Horizons craft has been travelling for 9 years and will be arriving tomorrow (7/14/15) at Pluto! NH will just be doing a fly by before it heads further out into the Kuiper Belt. Int he mean time, we have been getting some WONDERFUL shots of Pluto, and finally figuring out he has a bit of a reddish color (previously I colored him purple in the comic. That’s changed now).

This is super exciting and I hope you are all watching New Horizons as closely as I am!

20 – Saturn’s Hex

The vortex at Saturn’s north pole is oddly hexagon shaped. As it tursn out, the shape comes from smaller vortices at the edges. Scientists have been able to create these hexagon shapes in labs creating currents similar to those on Saturn. You can watch a video of that HERE.

We only recently started getting the best views of this when Saturn finally hit the portion of its orbit where the sun hits its north pole, and Cassini was there to catch it! We’re learning more about how this strange storm acts as Saturn’s northern hemisphere reaches it’s Summer solstice.