Some days I feel like wearing the universe, so I set up a Redbubble store called Cosmic Styles. I’ve taken the best public domain images and adjusted them to fit apparel, so you can wear the universe too! So far the collection includes:
Stereo images of the clouds of Jupiter, taken by the Juno spacecraft during Perijove 8 on
Sept. 1, 2017. These images are viewable in 3D without any equipment by using the parallel viewing method. It’s tricky, but the results are spectacular!
This monochrome view is the last image taken by the imaging cameras on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. It looks toward the planet’s night side, lit by reflected light from the rings, and shows the location at which the spacecraft would enter the planet’s atmosphere hours later.
This location – the site of Cassini’s atmospheric entry – was at this time on the night side of the planet, but would rotate into daylight by the time Cassini made its final dive into Saturn’s upper atmosphere, ending its remarkable 13-year exploration of Saturn. Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
The end is now upon us. Within hours of the posting of this entry, Cassini will have burned up in the atmosphere of Saturn … a kiloton explosion, spread out against the sky in a pyrrhic display of light and fire, a dazzling flash to signal the dying essence of a lone emissary from another world. As if the myths of old had foretold the future, the great patriarch will consume his child. At that point, that golden machine, so dutiful and strong, will enter the realm of history, and the toils and triumphs of this long march will be done.
For those of us appointed long ago to undertake this journey, it has been a taxing 3 decades, requiring a level of dedication that I could not have predicted, and breathless times when we sprinted for the duration of a maratho
n. But in return, we were blessed to spend our lives working and playing in that promised land beyond the Sun.
My imaging team members and I were especially blessed to serve as the documentarians of this historic epoch and return a stirring visual record of our travels around Saturn and the glories that we found there. This is our gift to the citizens of planet Earth.
So, it is with both wistful, sentimental reflection and a boundless sense of pride in a commitment met and a job well done that I now turn to face this looming, abrupt finality.
It is doubtful we will soon see a mission as richly suited as Cassini return to this ringed world and shoulder a task as colossal as we have borne over the last 27 years.
To have served on this mission has been to live the rewarding life of an explorer of our time, a surveyor of distant worlds. We wrote our names across the sky. We could not have asked for more.
I sign off now, grateful in knowing that Cassini’
s legacy, and ours, will include our mutual roles as authors of a tale that humanity will tell for a very long time to come.
A few of the final batch of photos from Cassini, featuring Saturn, the rings, Titan, & Enceladus. The probe will burn up in Saturn’s atmosphere in a few hours, after 20 years in space & 13 years at Saturn.
This enhanced color view of Jupiter’s south pole was created by citizen scientist Gabriel Fiset using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Oval storms dot the cloudscape. Approaching the pole, the organized turbulence of Jupiter’s belts and zones fades into clusters of unorganized filamentary structures, streams of air that resemble giant tangled strings.
The image was taken on Dec. 11, 2016 at 9:44 a.m. PST (12:44 p.m. EST), from an altitude of about 32,400 miles (52,200 kilometers) above the planet’s beautiful cloud tops.