Month: December 2005

  • Titan, Flyby 9

    On December 26, 2005 Cassini returned to Titan for its ninth targeted flyby and the last of the year. The latest data includes information about Titan’s magnetic field and more images of albedo features and landmarks on the surface that have been labeled Aztlan, Quivira, Bazaruto. Elba Faculae, and Omacatl Macula. The raw images show […]

  • The Year in Planetary Science

    Humanity improves the vision it turns on the universe in two ways: seeing farther than before and resolving greater detail. 2005 was a year of much more detail, of blurry bodies resolving into dynamic worlds and undiscovered objects in our own backyard suddenly coming into view. Augmented by robotic surrogates, adaptive optics, new remote sensing […]

  • Welcome to the New Frontier Channel

    Frontier Channel has been through a lot of changes over the years, but the changes going into effect over the next month are the biggest yet. The news site has been moved to from, which will become “VIDEO Frontier Channel” and home to our first video content (coming soon.) The podcast “RADIO Frontier […]

  • Clear to the Center of the Milky Way

    The clearest image yet (above left, compare to image above yet) of the center of our galaxy has been captured by the 10-meter Keck II Telescope at the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii. The image show the area surrounding Sagittarius A*, the name given to the energy source believed to be a black hole at […]

  • Displaying Strange New Realities

    The 19-inch LCD monitor in my home has become small compared to the two 23-inch LCD monitors I use at work. A few of my colleagues have one 23-inch and one 30-inch high definition LCD on their desks. With larger monitors comes superior video entertainment, more real estate for more open programs, and relief for […]

  • “Ergonomics, Not Productivity”

    In a Business 2.0 article from last month entitled “Dude, You’re Getting a Dell — Every Five Seconds” there is a priceless quote by Richard Komm, Dell’s “factory-design guru” regarding the choice of tasks for robots to handle: “All of our automation is driven by ergonomics, not productivity.” How convenient that ergonomic solutions of this […]

  • Society is Technology is Society

    Participants at “social news site” are quick to digg and even quicker to criticize. A first time submitter learned the hard way that the link he/she/other had submitted was to an article that was over three years old. “November 18, 2002[.] A little outdated, don’t you think?” responded one fellow digger. “Certainly outdated when […]

  • One Spiral to Rule Them All

    Cassini scientists will provide evidence in this week’s issue of Science that the previously labeled ringlets near Saturn’s F ring are instead a single spiral arm surrounding a core ring. No such object has ever before been observed in our solar system. The F ring is a thin but complex feature beyond Saturn’s more prominent […]

  • Cassini Spots Icy Plumes on Enceladus

    Cassini has returned spectacular images of huge plumes of water ice particles emanating from Enceladus, confirming that this tiny moon of Saturn is an active and watery world. Several plumes of various sizes can be seen clearly along the limb of the moon backlit by the Sun. Spraying out into space, these plumes may provide […]

  • One Martian Year

    The image above is mostly real. The setting sun and martian landscape were really taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on its 489th martian day. What is not real in this image is that little rover looking off into the distance. Spirit, for all its advanced technological capabilities, is not able to take a […]