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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Saturn, surreally

By Phil Plait

Take 7+ years of Saturn observations by the Cassini spacecraft, stitch a whole lot of them together into short, film-noir-like segments, and add a Beethoven soundtrack. What do you get? Awesomeness.

The video was put together by Nahum Chazarra, who says on Twitter he's a "Geology student, science lover". There's literally too much in this to describe! Moons, rings, the planet itself... but I think my favorite part is when some object, usually a tiny moon, stays centered while the rings and planet and other objects wheel around it. It's a change-of-perspective effect, but amazing to watch. And you really can't go wrong with "Moonlight Sonata".

Something like this video has been done before (specifically here and here, and both are well, well worth your time to watch) but to be honest it's impossible to get too much of this. The changing lighting and exposure, the sometimes jerky apparent motion (due to the inconstant times between exposures combined with the spacecraft's motion), and the simply jaw-dropping spectacle of the ridiculously gaudy Saturnian system, all combine to make this an engaging and even mesmerizing show.

Tip o' the dew shield to Dark Sapiens.

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- Video of Cassiniâs Hyperion flyby

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