Space Blob Intriguing
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is always taking beautiful pictures of Saturn and its moons -- the JPL team even won the NASM Trophy award this year for their work. After nearly a decade looping around the planet, its now in its third phase, the Solstice Mission, which is sending the spacecraft in new inclined orbits, allowing it to see different angles of the Saturn system than we've seen before. On June 27, Cassini did a distant fly-by of the largest moon, Titan, "one of the most Earth-like worlds found to date," according to NASA. But we thought this photo above was so interesting because it seems so alien. This view of the Titan's south pole shows "open cell convection," scientists think, which is when "air sinks in the center of the cell and rises at the edge, forming clouds at the cell edges. However, because the scientists can't see the layer underneath...they don't know what mechanisms may be at work." Or as one of our senior editors noted, "Something about that blob is kind of intriguing." Indeed.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute