The Sun and Saturn

NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of The Day always has interesting space related images and movies and is worth checking out on a regular basis. Here are two incredible recent movies APOD pointed to.

First up is this incredible HD solar prominence.

“When a rather large-sized (M 3.6 class) flare occurred near the edge of the Sun, it blew out a gorgeous, waving mass of erupting plasma that swirled and twisted over a 90-minute period (Feb. 24, 2011). This event was captured in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft . Some of the material blew out into space and other portions fell back to the surface. Because SDO images are super-HD, we can zoom in on the action and still see exquisite details. And using a cadence of a frame taken every 24 seconds, the sense of motion is, by all appearances, seamless. Sit back and enjoy the jaw-dropping solar show.”

Make sure you click the fullscreen icon and select the full HD resolution to see this in all its glory.

Next is this footage of Saturn from the Cassini spacecraft. As Cassini was approaching and orbiting Saturn it took thousands of images. A bunch of those images have now been carefully cropped, rotated, digitally tweaked etc to create this awesome movie. Again, make sure you watch this in full screen mode.

Jason.

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