Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saturn Fly By



I find this VIDEO made from actual photos of the Cassini spacecraft comforting and uplifting.

The universe is big and beautiful. Our human problems, (even nuclear power plant meltdowns, however complicated) can be seen from a larger perspective.

Link:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110315.html

17 comments:

Sabio Lantz said...

Wow, we share a feel for the beauty that Cassini offers us. The perspective, for me, is very grounding. As you know, I use a similar photo for the header of my blog. Great video, thanx. Seeing Earth from the other side of Saturn really puts a perspective on our tenuous blue dot!

Tess Kincaid said...

Thanks for a peek at the beautiful perspective of our universe.

Ruth said...

It looks pretty orderly, doesn't it? And yes, big.

I keep thinking about how good it is that tragedies make us turn to one another.

The Solitary Walker said...

And never more urgently do we need that larger perspective, Dan ... what with all the natural and man-made disasters happening all around us.

To be frank, I'd be happy with any tenuously-coherent perspective at all at present.

neighbor said...

absolutely stupendous! I love that we have a universe.

hmmm...I just posted about scale/perspective too. I guess that's natural after all.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Sabio. Not sure if you're talking about the NASA video... but those spheroids around Saturn would be Saturn's moons, not Earth.

From Saturn I'm pretty sure it would be hard to pick out our mini little planet. Saturn's pretty far off, and we're pretty small by comparison. Plus, we'd be kinda close to the sun from Saturn's perspective.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Tess. You're sure welcome. Credit goes only to me for posting it. I would guess thousands of people worked hard to achieve a space flight like Cassini. I tip my hat to them.

Dan Gurney said...

Ruth, it sure is helpful to turn to one another and talk about our dismay and concern. I am grateful for the opportunity to share online.

Dan Gurney said...

Robert, I so agree. What concerns me here in the US is that the network of wealthy people/corporations that profit from nuclear power also own many of the news outlets that tell us not to worry about nuclear disasters when they happen and offer us rosy views about what the future holds.

In my opinion, we must retire the whole nuclear industry, but I do seriously wonder if it is possible for us to put that canine back in the hat before our nuclear dog bites us fatally. Radioactive elements aren't faithful lapdogs, I'm afraid.

Sabio Lantz said...

Hey Dan,
I appreciate you being gentle with me, but you might want to look here:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia08324.html

I was not referring to those moons in the video, but to the photo I told you is on the header on my website.

Dan Gurney said...

Ah, thank you, Sabio, for the link. It makes the photo in your blog header more comprehensible for me. So the sun is being "eclipsed" by Saturn in that Cassini photo. I had not realized that until visiting the link you provided.

The Earth, indicated by "You Are Here" in your header is way, way, way, way back towards the Sun. It is not orbiting Saturn (as I wrongly thought you meant to imply).

The Earth is a tiny little dot that would be lost in the sun's glare except for Saturn's "eclipse" of the Sun.

We share this odd comfort in seeing that things in the universe will still be there long after the human enterprise comes to its hopefully not self-inflicted end.

Paul C said...

What a beautiful video complemented by the New World Symphony by Dvorak? It helps to put our world in perspective as you say. What beauty lies within and without.

Me said...

Gravity rules

Dan Gurney said...

Paul, thanks for commenting. Yes, the music by Dvorak adds a lot to the video fly by.

Dan Gurney said...

Me, yeah, when you think about it, gravity does seem to behave in a very consistent and predictable way that allows us to lob hardware around the solar system and get it to go where we want it to. I imagine that if gravity were a force that fluctuated (more than it does) missions like Cassini would not be possible.

Alden Smith said...

I simply love these photographs of planets. A photograph of our Earth from outer space is something that I can stare at for a long long time - what a space ship we live on! - And what and interesting neighbour Saturn is! (No Neighbour is Neighbour, not Neighbor - which is an Americanism - which is an interesting blogpost I will make some day - MSWord spell checkers are having a huge historical influence on the worlds spelling - but some of her 'Neighbours' are holding out to the bitter end).

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Alden. Does that "u" in the final syllable change the way the word is pronounced? Does it sound like "neighbower"? If so, then for you guys, that would be the preferred spelling. Here in the U.S. we say it "NAYber" so I don't see any need for that final u. One could argue that it would make sense to change the spelling to "nayber" so the letters more accurately indicate what's coming out of our mouths.

I can remember standing at a kiosk and having a license plate frame motto inscribed on it. I was writing, "Think locally. Act neighborly." and the fellow in line behind me said, "You misspelled it." I'm a pretty good speller, so for just a second I was a bit surprised by his remark. Then I realized that he must be from a Commonwealth nation. My hunch proved correct. He was from Canada, and the thought we spelled it neighbour here in the US, too.