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Saturn In All Its Glory

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the all-hail-the-hypnotoad dept.

Space 75

The Bad Astronomer writes "On Oct. 10, 2013, the Cassini spacecraft took a series of wide-angle pictures of Saturn from well above the plane of the rings. Croatian software developer and amateur astronomical image processor Gordan Ugarkovic assembled them into a stunning mosaic (mirrored on Flickr), showing the planet from a high angle not usually seen. There's a lot to see in this image, including the rings (and the gaps therein), moons, and the planet itself, including the remnants of a monstrous northern hemisphere storm that kicked off in 2010. It's truly wondrous."

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SATURN !! THE GOD OF WAR !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45152485)

All right now !! The bringer of !!

Re:SATURN !! THE GOD OF WAR !! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45152611)

I just hope they've got a big server. That's a hefty image file, this is Slashdot.

Re:SATURN !! THE GOD OF WAR !! (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45152691)

All right now !! The bringer of !!

Well, you can see the Hexagon quite clearly in this picture. They sure can show off their bigger defense budget.

Re:SATURN !! THE GOD OF WAR !! (5, Informative)

Greg01851 (720452) | about 10 months ago | (#45152993)

Mars is the God of War. Saturn is the Roman God of Agriculture ;)

Re:SATURN !! THE GOD OF WAR !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45153241)

Nancy? Nancy Reagan is that you?! I told you when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns Mars you would die, but I was - would you believe it - wrong.

Any sign of the Fithp? (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 10 months ago | (#45152487)

Can you see Thuktun Flishithy ?

Re:Any sign of the Fithp? (1)

lightBearer (2692183) | about 10 months ago | (#45154741)

Lead me, Herdmaster!

[rolls over onto his back]

About that hexagonal polar vortex... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45152675)

Every time anyone mentions Saturn's hexagonal polar 'storm' they seem to imply that it's an unnatural phenomenon.

It's not, nor as unusual as some used to think. In fact they've recreated it in the lab with nothing more than a spinning table.
The speed and viscosity create oscillating eddies which interfere and create the polygonal shapes.

http://news.sciencemag.org/2010/04/saturns-strange-hexagon-recreated-lab

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (2)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#45153151)

Oscillating Eddie, now that's a great nickname.

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 10 months ago | (#45153211)

As long as he's in the space time continuum

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154527)

I'm Malfunctioning Eddie, and I'm malfunctioning so badly, I'm practically giving these cars away!!!

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45155145)

Well, there's the comedian Steady_Eddy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | about 10 months ago | (#45156813)

More like the name for a Garbage Pail Kid depicting Oscillating Eddie grinning while vibrating rapidly in a paint shaking machine.

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45153369)

I think that "bizarre" and "natural" are hardly contradictory epithets. Standing waves the size of planets are awesome

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45153485)

But it's not even bizarre, that's the point. It's actually bizarre to call it that given we understand the mechanism. It can inspire awe so that part works.

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 10 months ago | (#45153831)

Standing waves the size of planets are awesome

Dr. Carl-Gustaf Rossby [wikipedia.org] certainly thought so. [wikipedia.org]

Re:About that hexagonal polar vortex... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154167)

i've done it boiling water on my stove

No stars (5, Funny)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about 10 months ago | (#45152703)

ZOMG There's no stars. This must be a NASA staged event and didn't really happen... on the moon.

Re:No stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45153195)

You jest, but every time I see such amazing images, there's always a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that it is a fake, because it looks too perfect.

Wish I could silence that voice.

Re:No stars (2)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about 10 months ago | (#45153747)

I always think the same thing. It's just so perfect. But that's the reality between taking a picture in a pollution filled atmosphere like ours versus the near perfect vacuum of space.

Re:No stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154107)

It's the reality of shooting a sunlit object vs shooting a night sky. Even in our solar system, if you expose for stars, you'll get a big blob of blinding white on whatever is sunlit. Remember, we are talking apparent magnitude*, and even at the distance that the sun is from Saturn, it is still 100,000+ brighter then any other star is.

* The sun's apparent magnitude at Earth is about -27. At Saturn it is about -21. For reference a full moon is about -12 and Vega (One of the brightest stars of the night sky) is about 0 (This wouldn't change much on Saturn, it it would appear a bit brighter, but not a significant amount). On a dark night, the human eye unaided can see stars to about the +6 magnitude. (Yes, the lower the number the brighter the object)

Re:No stars (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | about 10 months ago | (#45154669)

ZOMG There's no stars. This must be a NASA staged event and didn't really happen... on the moon.

Take a closer look towards Iapetus. There's a monolith there that's full of stars.

Wow (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about 10 months ago | (#45152727)

the image is so large I had to push my chair some 4 feet back in order to appreciate it ( on a 24" screen ! ). Well done. May make it into my collection of ultimate Linux desktop images.

shoop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45152777)

Looks shopped. I can tell from the pixels.

The Fly-by Movie (5, Informative)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 10 months ago | (#45152787)

For fly-by movie assembled from Cassini's images see here: http://vimeo.com/11386048 [vimeo.com]

Re:The Fly-by Movie (1)

jovius (974690) | about 10 months ago | (#45153619)

Gordan Ugarkovic is one of many contributing to the film In Saturn's Rings. [insaturnsrings.com] , of which that footage is from.

Thanks for link (1)

ridgecritter (934252) | about 10 months ago | (#45153699)

Great trailer, looking forward to the film's release.

Dodgy Movie (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 10 months ago | (#45157205)

Seems a somewhat dodgy movie if you ask me. It claims that it is "all real, no CGI of VFX". If so I would love to know how they filmed the footage at 1:15 in the video you linked. There is also a brief 2s footage around 1:58-2:00 which appears to show a star field shifting as you move towards a galaxy. If that is real footage I'd love to know where they got it since the parallax shifts appear quite large. I suppose it is possible that they superimposed a star field over the galaxy image and zoomed on on it to give the appearance of parallax but I would count that as a visual special effect.

Re:Dodgy Movie (1)

stephenv2 (1046702) | about 10 months ago | (#45157565)

It's mutiplane photoanimation not CGI or VFX - like the Oxberry animation camera. Photoanimation is as old as cinema itself but the images themselves on are not computer generated - they are real photographs animated. There is far more alternation of what you see to create a color still in space photos that to animate using photoanimation. No one has used photoanimation to make a space documentary. The approach is textures maps, 3D models, 3D CGI and the normal VFX used. This footage uses none of those techniques - not even painting and cloning in 2D, nor morphing or tweening. Just multiplane photoanimation.

Re:Dodgy Movie (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#45160517)

Sorry but how is digitally manipulating a photograph to create a fake effect of parallax shift to imply superluminal motion any different that digitally manipulating a photographic texture by wrapping it onto a sphere to generate a faked computer fly-by? Just because a VFX technique is old does not mean it is not VFX. In fact arguably the 3D model+texture mapping might produce an accurate simulation of a real photo whereas I highly doubt the fake parallax shot accurately calculated the parallax shift based on the true stellar distances involved. In addition there still appears to be an entirely, 100% computer generated explosion with fake ring at 1:15.

That being said some of the images are quite stunning but it seems that there is a lot of digital manipulation going on behind the scenes to make the video so claiming all the images as 100% real is simply not true and, in the case of the fake parallax, they are arguably less real than those from planetarium software which actually uses accurate star positions for nearby stars.

Re:Dodgy Movie (1)

stephenv2 (1046702) | about a year ago | (#45180825)

>>3D model+texture mapping I work in VFX as well and this is simply not true when have a 2D texture map and 3D model. Incredible distortion and fakery of the texture image is required - this only works if you create new texture maps i.e, completely fake. I use mutiplane animation precisely because it the ONLY animation technique with photographs that allows me to leave the images undistorted. Furthermore, no paint or cloning is done - we only use it when we have multiple views of the data. And, I use the same positional data that you would use in CGI/VFX. Finally, your missing the forest for the trees. Enjoy the beautiful of these real images animated using photoanimation. I and most everywhere who views them finds them far more moving and beautiful than CGI because even the best CGI of space cannot reproduce reality or actual anything close to it. The science of these objects is still not well understood enough to photo accurately model and light them. Far more "processing" of these images goes into the create the color still than I use for photoanimation. Your responding as if I'm faking the moon landing.

Re:The Fly-by Movie (1)

pavon (30274) | about 10 months ago | (#45153735)

Just to be clear, since the link isn't: this isn't a real time-lapse video of Cassini flying as the movie shows. It is an artificial flyby made using images that Cassini has taken, and then manipulating them to create the appearance of changing perspective. Some of it is pretty realistic while others parts are are not (like having all the moons so big and close together in one shot). Still really cool.

Re:The Fly-by Movie (1)

stephenv2 (1046702) | about 10 months ago | (#45154837)

This is the filmmaker here. Gordan is one of the main image processors for the film. This photographs is also "artificial" as Cassini has 1 megapixel black and white cameras. He did quite a bit of geometry and color work to make this image. You are correct the film is not what Cassini sees either. But you can see a video I posted that shows exactly what Cassini does see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXWmVZxEtlY [youtube.com] The technique I'm using is not CGI - it's a technique as old as cinema - multiple plane photoanimation used by Disney and others. I basically use a computer as an Oxberry animation stand camera system. I could make the animation without computers but computers are critical to what Gordan and others are doing. Great to see Slashdot highlighting his artistry. He is a genius.

Re:The Fly-by Movie (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 10 months ago | (#45158491)

What is the classical music in that video starting at :58? I love that piece.

Re:The Fly-by Movie (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 10 months ago | (#45158753)

It's Samuel Barber: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KylMqxLzNGo [youtube.com]

Re:The Fly-by Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45162299)

Yep. Also used in the Homeworld game, although that's a choral rendition.

FAKE! (5, Funny)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 10 months ago | (#45152793)

FAKE! Come on, this thing is obviously 'shopped like crazy. The shadow on the rings is much to crisp compared to the shadow on the planet. Plus the ring shadow is entirely opaque. To make it realistic they should have given it some transparency so you could see the rings faintly behind it. Also, there's color banding in the "planet", and some weird hexagonal artifact that looks like this thing was originally rendered as a 3D model with bad tessellation. Go back to drawing Tippy to get into art school, you pathetic hack.

Re:FAKE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45152859)

Also he forgot to shop in some stars and blackholes. You are in space, you need more stars.

Re:FAKE! (1)

supervirus (3399783) | about 10 months ago | (#45153147)

I just read the article about amplituhedrons, which say that space and time are but an illusion. Saturn, space, time, gravity etc. may all be illusions.

Re:FAKE! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45155681)

Lunchtime especially so.

Popularity of space stuff based on replies (5, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 10 months ago | (#45153137)

It seems that the trend her on /. is to reply less to space-related posts, and rather indulge in trivial online debates over something that happened on Facebook and whether or not choice is a good thing for Android.

This disheartens me. I have logged in again after a long period of inactivity to state my interest in space-related posts here and I would like to see more of that and less of trivial drama that may or may not be related to stuff that matters.

I am prepared to be downmodded for this but I am a willing martyr to get the point across.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45153305)

I'd hope that it's more a case of most space-related posts being read as "oh, that's cool" and most click-bait posts being read with "I dogmatically agree/disagree with that claim!!!!!111!!!15"

Bah, who am I kidding? Everyone's too busy arguing that Ubuntu 13.10 will kill Microsoft that no one cares about anything else.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (4, Informative)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 10 months ago | (#45153603)

It doesn't help that there is now so much light pollution that most people have either never seen the Milky Way, or see such skies so rarely that they haven't had a chance to become personally anquanted with the night sky in any real depth.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 10 months ago | (#45153913)

You make an excellent point. After moving back to Norway from London I found the skies are a lot clearer there in general and that made me more interested in what is happening outside the limits of our stratosphere. Sadly not many people get to see the starry sky in all its glory due to pollution, and I guess that is a thing that doesn't help your thoughts and mind.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#45162615)

My most savoured memory of a recent trip to Australia was seeing Saturn through a telescope, rings and all. Second was seeing the Jewel Box cluster [wikipedia.org] about 20 seconds later.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 10 months ago | (#45153655)

Alright. You got your +5. Now what do we actually talk about? The Saturn fly-by vimeo that someone linked to is 2 years old. Cool and all but what does one say? For me, a spacecraft flying past planets is about as interesting as the ISS going around and around and around the Earth.
.

Personally, I'm interested in trying to define what gravity is [just-think-it.com] . And to resolve some of the greatest problems in physics [wikipedia.org] . Anyone else wanting to discuss this?

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (3, Informative)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 10 months ago | (#45153793)

Alright. You got your +5. Now what do we actually talk about?

For starters, we could discuss how many of the features seen in the image are visible in a small telescope and how to go about seeing stuff. This is supposed to be a curious, techy, crowd. I'm surprised the small telescope question comes up so rarely on stories such as this one. In fact, quite a lot is visible on Saturn: major storms, cloud bands, rings, at least the most major ring division (Cassini division), shadow of planet on rings, shadow of rings on planet, coloration in rings, change of ring tilt during Saturn's year, half a dozen of the brightest moons (the largest of which can appear as a tiny disk). A lot of people here have kids and might like to show them this stuff to pique their interest. Saturn won't be easily visible in Q2 of 2014 but Jupiter is becoming progressively more accesible (rises late right now but earlier each night) and there's loads to see on it: moons, eclipses, loads of storms (inc. great red spot), rotation of the planet is very fast and quite evident over a one hour time course, etc. It appears much larger than Saturn and changes all the time, with even whole cloud bands appearing and disappearing over periods of months. You don't need expensive gear or dark skies to see this stuff.

Other than that, we could also discuss the hexagon, as mentioned by a link placed by a previous post. Of course there's also the stuff you mention, but that's not so directly related to this story. Not that this should discourage the topics, of course.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154213)

What about Uranus? Is that visible in a small telescope?

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154753)

No, you need an extra-large aperture for that. ;-)

In all seriousness, you can see the planet Uranus with regular binoculars. In fact, one night in 2001 from my backyard in Los Angeles I was able to see Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, for a total of 6 planets visible (including Earth) simultaneously with the help of binoculars.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 10 months ago | (#45155395)

Yes you can see Uranus with binos but you'll need a telescope resolve it as a disk. Ditto for Neptune. Pluto is the only TNO you can see with a small scope but even here you'll need at least about a 10" objective since it's rather faint (about 13th or 14th magnitude, IIRC). The exact scope size you need will depend on your experience, vision, and possibly your latitude as Pluto is is currently quite far south.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 10 months ago | (#45154225)

Good points. It is a shame that 82.6% of Americans live in cities [answers.com] and have little chance of seeing much more than the Big Dipper, let alone moons on Jupiter. I'm sure this puts a pretty big damper on telescope tech talk on anything but a specialized forum. Still, talk away and I'll try to learn something.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154509)

I've lived in areas before that the census would label metropolitan, i.e. part of that 82.6%, yet could see the moons of Jupiter fine with a scope. Deep space things that look awesome with long exposures on a camera, like nebula and some galaxies, were abysmal with . But observing planets, lacking a little of the vivid colors of photos, is quite possible in medium sized, and even some places of large cities.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154553)

, were abysmal with .

Meant to say: were abysmal with cheap or small equipment.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 10 months ago | (#45154593)

Good points. It is a shame that 82.6% of Americans live in cities [answers.com] and have little chance of seeing much more than the Big Dipper, let alone moons on Jupiter. I'm sure this puts a pretty big damper on telescope tech talk on anything but a specialized forum. Still, talk away and I'll try to learn something.

You can see the moons of Jupiter through a telescope even from the city centre. The moons are damn bright and will punch through light pollution. City lights obliterate galaxies. The brighter nebulae will be visible even from terrible light pollution, but they will be much diminished. However, the real thing that's lost is the sense of awe you get from looking up at a dark sky with the naked eye. Even the most jaded person will STFU and gawp.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 10 months ago | (#45155597)

I've got two telescopes, but I need neither to see the Pleiades, the Orion Nebula, and the Andromeda Galaxy, all from the middle of Nottingham. I never actually truly appreciated the night sky until last November when I was in Darkest Herefordshire and with the Manor grounds at Bodenham in complete darkness and the nearest village 12 miles away, the sky took on a whole new level of stunning.

No immediate plans to go back to Bodenham, but if/when I do I hope it's during late autumn/winter months again so I can take my telescope this time round. Maybe get some images that plant Jupiter & Taurus, wide field, in Nottingham [akamaihd.net] and Jupiter & Taurus with M42, stacked exposure, in Nottingham [fbcdn.net] , and finally single, tracked exposure of Orion taken with a £50 digital camera and motorised piggyback mount in a private observatory in Herefordshire [akamaihd.net] six feet under.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154859)

With a small telescope here in downtown Chicago, we can observe Jupiter and Saturn quite well. Actually, my wife "discovered" Titan - she didn't know Saturn had a large moon and picked it out. Obviously the Galilean satellites are easy to see, bet we can also make out the bands on Jupiter, the gap between Saturn and its rings, plus lots of cool features on the Moon. All this with a free-as-in-beer 4" refractor from a garage sale. It'll get even better once I get around to cleaning the highest power eyepiece, and I'm not even using the Barlow lens. I'll probably need a motor for that (at least it has an equatorial mount).

The point is a cheap telescope in terrible conditions can still see these things.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

ashpool7 (18172) | about 10 months ago | (#45153691)

Well there's not really an argument as to if a giant picture of Saturn is cool or worthy of attention on /. so... not much to say?

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 10 months ago | (#45153935)

There are more than enough amateur astronomers out there. Or so, I hoped. Did they all turn amateur politicians and armchair generals now?

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

green is the enemy (3021751) | about 10 months ago | (#45153923)

I'm with you about wanting more space and other science discussions. Why not post something on the topic of this story and try to get a discussion going? Try to master the art of stimulating productive Slashdot discussion (admittedly, I haven't yet, but I've seen others do it). Actively fight back against mundane, idle chit-chat.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

amanaplanacanalpanam (685672) | about 10 months ago | (#45153949)

I share your regret that stuff like this doesn't provoke more excitement. I think in some ways science (like so many things in life) can be a victim of its own success. For example, the proliferation of gorgeous space photos resulting from HST has had a spoiling effect on the populace. To many, pretty space pictures like this have been a dime a dozen for over 20 years; its uniqueness is lost on the unwashed masses (and even many of us nerds). The same thing happened with the shuttle; at first, launches were heralded events; eventually, the novelty wore off and the majority of the populace probably couldn't even tell you if a shuttle was in orbit at any given moment. I reckon many have no insights to contribute on this beyond "cool photo is cool", which doesn't make for compelling, thoughtful conversation.

In stark contrast, were this a story about space policy or budgeting or something going wrong (ie a disaster) or how things should/could/would be, you'd have no shortage of opinions.

Plus I think we've been in a sort of space doldrums since the shuttle retirement (the ascension of space privatization notwithstanding) and I bet when Orion/SLS take off (pun unintended) things will pick up. When Cosmos aired, it was uniquely positioned to inspire many to wonder about their universe. Now we have entire channels (albeit often locked away in expensive upper cable tiers) dedicated to science. I don't know, maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos sequel [wikipedia.org] will help rekindle some of that scientific wonder.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 10 months ago | (#45153987)

I think that mostly reflects people's perceptions of their own knowledge on the subject. Most people don't know enough, and don't think they know enough, to say much more than "ooh, shiny!" But everyone knows a bit about Facebook and Android and such, or at least they think they know such things, so they feel qualified to post their thoughts on the matter.

For this post, if every /. reader posted the discussion would likely resemble the dialogue of the "space sphere" from Portal 2.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (4, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about 10 months ago | (#45154081)

^beat me to it.

I was simply going to post:
Climate change: 8957 posts.
Android app about sex: 3692 posts
Republicans are poopy heads: 1244 posts
Post about an absolutely stunning image from a brilliantly-designed massive probe doing amazing work in the depths of space at LEAST a light-hour away from our planet: 34 posts.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154687)

Do you really want the people from those stories to be posting here? Even if it looks empty, the signal to noise ratio in the end seems much higher on the science stories around here with a few to medium sized number of comments. A science story with a lot of comments is a red flag that a stupid, off topic argument about climate change or religion broke out, or something weirder [slashdot.org] happened.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 10 months ago | (#45156591)

Unfortunately, most of the the space/astronomy threads are just filled with Uranus & Urectum jokes.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45156875)

I would normally agree with you. Oddly enough though, at the time of posting this comment, there were only two Uranus jokes, but also two posts complaining about Uranus jokes... and now one post complaining about complaining about Uranus jokes.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (1)

BadEvilYoda (935532) | about 10 months ago | (#45154261)

I think there are at least two competing issues - the first is that, in large part, space has become "boring" for many, for lack of a better word. We've spent years and years circling in LEO with shuttle and ISS, without much "wow factor" to show for it. There is a certain pessimism that comes with relying on a space agency that has its priorities shifted with each and every administration change (and my post history here certainly reflects that, as I often comment on space-related articles and not many others). Since Apollo, there has not really been a mission that has captivated the masses nearly as much. Sure, we have the efforts of SpaceX and SpaceShip One and others in the private sector, but there's nothing truly inspiring about that, at least, not yet. Resupply to the ISS just isn't sexy. I think Chris Hadfield did an absolutely excellent job of trying to bring the ISS some much-needed publicity and popularity with his various experiments and clips from the ISS, and that was a great idea and a great start. Going to the moon? Going to Mars? Now you'd grab people's attention and maybe even inspire renewed interest in the sciences and the space program (whether public or privately funded). But the Voyagers can only leave the solar system so many times before the general reaction becomes "Meh, this again?" Curiosity can only drill into so many rocks on Mars before the average person starts to lose interest.

The second is that, for a post such as this, there's not much that can necessarily be added by most - just the concept that you could fit almost four Earths into that hexagonal storm is lost on or incomprehensible to many. Not necessarily in the /. crowd, but in the public at large. Aside from pretty desktop wallpapers, there aren't many folks that are equipped to comment about or discuss images such as this in any real analytical or technical detail.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154367)

It's always been like this. Astronomy posts are mostly crap jokes over and over. People feel the need to post garbage when they have no knowledge or interest in subjects. What's worse, is they're the ones modded up, while relevant and detailed posters are ignored or buried.

Re:Popularity of space stuff based on replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45156249)

It seems that the trend her on /. is to reply less to space-related posts, and rather indulge in trivial online debates over something that happened on Facebook and whether or not choice is a good thing for Android.

I don't mind that space based stories have fewer replies. What bothers me is that the replies are almost entirely off topic. Nearly all of them are the same stupid jokes, over and over. For example there's Uranus joke on this story about Saturn. There's also a +5 comment complaining about the lack of comments.

ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45153311)

Meh, what an ugly ball of cheesy colors.

It could of been worse. (1)

aekafan (1690920) | about 10 months ago | (#45153869)

It could of been about the glory in Uranus.

Saturn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45154585)

Meh

Rainbow?! (1)

purplie (610402) | about 10 months ago | (#45154777)

There appears to be a rainbow on the faint outer ring (top, just right of center) when viewed at full resolution. Is that for real?

Re:Rainbow?! (1)

Punko (784684) | about 10 months ago | (#45156409)

If memory serves, artifacts like this are caused generally from the timing difference from the 3 colour images that were superimposed on each other to get the composite colour image.

Other Saturn images are similar artifacts. The astronomy site talks about them on another Saturn picture page.

aaaand (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 10 months ago | (#45155427)

that's my new desktop. Gorgeous.

Looks like an old vinyl record (1)

the_arrow (171557) | about a year ago | (#45162843)

So, has anyone tried to play it?

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