Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2015.08.22

Good morning! This week’s video features the final pass of Saturn’s moon Dione by the Cassini probe. Doesn’t it have the power it needs to continue its mission?

Well, I think that the main problem is the probe’s running out of fuel it needs to maneuver and position itself in its exploration of the Saturn system. Once that runs out, for all real purposes, it’s game over, thank you much and goodnight, Mister McSpaceprobe!

So that means that there will be no more passes of Dione, as lovely as the moon looks to us apes on this tiny blue world far from Saturn. I hope that your weekend starts out well.

However, there’s a grey lining in the silver cloud…

I’m currently a bit worried about a friend of mine with a recent medical incident, with no word yet on his current condition.

Here’s knocking on plastic – one must adapt one’s superstitions to modern conditions, after all – that things turn out well, and a speedy return to wellness for Christopher R. Rice of the blog Ravens N’ Pennies!

I’ve had far too many people die this year alone, much less last year in addition, and that wears on me, especially close friends.

Stay cool, stay brilliant.

…and reach for the stars.

M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble

Andromeda Rising over the Alps

Announcing Comet Catalina

Central Cygnus Skyscape

M27: Not a Comet

Sprites from Space

Little Planet Curiosity

Image of the Week:

Ring of Stars and Nucleus of Hoag’s Object Galaxy

Weekly Astrognuz:

The story behind Curiosity’s self-portraits on Mars

Tricks to Remember the Planets

The United States of Space Advocates

How to Find Rosetta’s Comet in Your Telescope

Nathalie Cabrol to lead Carl Sagan Center at SETI Institute

An August Moment to Check in on NASA’s Budget and Future

NASA Invites the Public to Send Your Name to Mars on InSight – Next Mars Lander

No Major Problems with SLS Design NASA Managers Say

Astrophoto: The Southern Owl

Lightsail Lands New Hardware for Laser Ranging

Watch the You-Know-What out of this Trailer for The Martian

Sprite: Red Lightning Seen from Space

The Dwarf Planet (and Plutoid) Makemake

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Long Exposures

New Instrument Images a Young Cousin of Jupiter

Perseids: Photo and Video

Final Enounter: Cassini and Dione

The Weekly Pick:

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Skeptic Check: Skeptic Seth

Ze Cat for Ze Caturday:


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