Thursday, April 8, 2010

Views of Saturn

More to be said later on the Galileoscope.

A truly noble concept.

So far, I have examined craters on the surface of our moon via the GS. I read that the scope permits a view of Saturn's rings (of course, nothing like the detail of these satellite images).

For more than the ones posted, here's a slideshow of the exquisite Cassini Saturn pics:

And a link for more JPL images of Saturn from the Cassini Mission:

It would be easy to spend a few hours at this NASA website of astronomical photos:

It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy's edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create ''one world.'' Instead of one world, we have ''star wars,'' and a future in which dumb dented human toys will drift mindlessly about the cosmos long after our small planet's dead. -Gore Vidal

Jet Propulsion Lab image of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn

-by Barbara Lefcowitz

the round walls of old cities
bracelets of flamenco dancers
cambium layers fingerprint-whorls

no metaphor can elucidate
why so many rings within rings

ice, rocks, and dust
some braided, some a pale red
knotted thin elliptical

but this much I know
from my earthly, my only

the saturnine need
such labyrinths of light

to see the contours of their darkness
especially its edges and rims

lest they forget that as children of winter
they have a flair for the slanted
shapes of light, door-cracks, thin stripes

the facets of diamonds
to be plucked from the snow

if they dare break
the circumference of sadness

Another Lefcowitz poem, RINGS, BAGELS, SATURN, opens:

Wandering from its orbit, perhaps drunk or merely bored, one of Saturn’s moons shed its icy skin, which gravity’s dark matter then spun into a ring. The moon’s dense core, filled with cosmic debris, kept wandering, perhaps to intrude some time later into another planet’s orbital path....

The entire poem is at:

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