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Saturn was playing the lightning storm blues. NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured images of last year's storm on Saturn, the largest storm seen up-close at the planet, with bluish spots in the middle of swirling clouds. Those bluish spots indicate flashes of lightning and mark the first time scientists have detected lightning in visible wavelengths on the side of Saturn illuminated by the sun. #science #saturn #lightning
So what did NASA do during the US government shutdown? You can’t just turn off spacecraft that are operating millions of miles away, so missions like the Mars rovers and the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn continued to send back images to Earth during the 16 days that most of NASA wasn’t up and running like usual.
A Close Pass of Saturn's Moon Dione What's that past Dione? When making its closest pass yet of Saturn's moon Dione late last year, the robotic Cassini spacecraft snapped this far-ranging picture featuring Dione, Saturn's rings, and the two small moons Epimetheus and Prometheus.
On the 3,309th Martian day, or sol, of its mission on Mars (May 15, 2013) NASAs Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove 263 feet (80 meters) southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. That drive put the total distance driven by Opportunity since the rovers January 2004 landing on Mars at 22.220 miles (35.760 kilometers).
The shadow of the moon Mimas is cast on Saturn's outer A ring in this image which also shows a couple of moons and a collection of stars. Atlas (30 kilometers, or 19 miles across) can be seen in the top right of the image, between the A ring and thin F ring. Pan (28 kilometers, or 17 miles across) can be seen orbiting in the Encke Gap in the lower left of the image. Mimas is not shown.
This composite image of the Tycho supernova remnant combines infrared and X-ray observations obtained with NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space observatories, respectively, and the Calar Alto observatory, Spain. It shows the scene more than four centuries after the brilliant star explosion witnessed by Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era.
Generated using 1996 data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft, this high resolution composite image is centered on the side of Io that always faces away from Jupiter. It has been enhanced to emphasize Io's surface brightness and color variations, revealing features as small as 1.5 miles across.
Earlier this month, NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory successfully downlinked images of the moon and stars taken by onboard camera systems, known as star trackers. This is the first time the LADEE team commanded the spacecraft to send these pictures back to Earth.
NASA - Saturn's Brightly Reflective Moon Enceladus Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) is in the center of the image. Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) glows faintly in the background beyond the rings. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute