On a Blue Moon Image Credit & Copyright: Simon Smith Explanation: Rising at sunset, the gorgeous Full Moon of August 31 became the second Full Moon in a month. According to modern reckoning, that makes it a Blue Moon. In fact, parts of the Full Moon do look a little blue in this sharp lunar portrait. Taken just hours before the exact full phase in delightfully clear skies over Nottingham, UK, it features eye-catching bright rays extending from the prominent young crater Tycho in the…
Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun. An unusual type of solar eclipse occurred last year. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. Last June, most unusually, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun. Eventually the alignment became perfect and the phase of Venus dropped to zero.
Humanity's robot orbiting Saturn has recorded yet another amazing view. That robot is the spacecraft Cassini. The new amazing view includes a bright moon, thin rings, oddly broken clouds, and warped shadows. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, appears above as a featureless tan as it is continually shrouded in thick clouds. The rings of Saturn are seen as a thin line because they are so flat and imaged nearly edge on.
Ganymede Enhanced: What does the largest moon in the Solar System look like? Ganymede, larger than even Mercury and Pluto, has a surface speckled with bright young craters overlying a mixture of older, darker, more cratered terrain laced with grooves and ridges. Like Earth's Moon, Ganymede keeps the same face towards its central planet, in this case Jupiter.
The ice fountains of Enceladus Fountains of water ice blast thousands of kilometres above the surface of Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus. It is thought that the pull of Saturn's powerful gravity distorts the moon and heats the interior, forming an underground ocean. When this reservoir of water contacts the vacuum of space it vaporises and explodes above the moon. Any liquid water freezes instantly. Images of the ice fountains were first captured by the Cassini probe.