Feeds

Amateur image-wrangler reveals stitched snap of Saturn's splendour

Magnificent mosaic from NASA's Cassini shots

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

An amateur image processor has stitched together raw images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft to produce a stunning image of Saturn, seen from above on 10 October.

Gordan Ugarkovic's view of Saturn

Gordan Ugarkovic constructed the view from "12 image footprints with red, blue and green filters from Cassini's imaging science subsystem", NASA explains.

As his impressive Flickr collection shows, Ugarkovic has been teasing Cassini snaps for a while, after finding himself "somewhat underwhelmed by the frequency the Cassini Imaging Team releases color composites".

He elaborates: "The images you see here are (more or less) calibrated images that were released to the Planetary Data System, they are not raw jpeg processed images that immediately appear on the mission website as they're downlinked from the spacecraft.

"The downside of the PDS is the data releases are delayed about 9 months in order to give the imaging team priority over analyzing data (hey, they built the cameras!). Other than that, the PDS data allow more accurate reconstruction of colors and brightnesses over the histogram-stretched jpeg images."

Cassini launched in October 1997, completed its initial mission "to explore the Saturn System" in June 2008 and was subsequently granted two mission extensions, the second of which will see it snapping the ringed planet until 2017.

The spacecraft's Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) packs a wide-angle camera (200mm lens, 3.5 degree field of view) and a narrow-angle camera (2000mm lens, 0.35 degree field of view), each with a "CCD detector consisting of a 1024 square array of pixel".

Each camera has "two filter wheels designed to take images at specific wavelengths of light". As in the case of Ugarkovic's mosaics, combining red, green and blue pictures provides a full-colour image.

Since Cassini dispatches Earthwards "an average of 2,700 raw images a month", Ugarkovic has plenty of material to keep him busy for the foreseeable future. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.