Star of Ninib

If I want to be reminded of the vastness of the universe and its smallness all at once, I can just think about Cassini-Huygens. On October 15, 1997, a rocket took off from just up the road from my house and now, six-and-a-half years later, it has (almost) made it to Saturn. Friday, the little probe passed by the first of eight moons it will visit and dutifully sent us some pictures. According to the timeline, it will make it to Saturn on July 1, where the Cassini spacecraft will drop the Huygens probe into the atmosphere on January 14.

I find this so awesome. There are so many launches around here, it’s hard to remember if I saw that one six years ago, but a rocket I probably watched soar through the skies above my house is now taking pictures of a moon that nobody new existed 100 years ago.

I got the title for this post from the Saturn Observation Campaign page. It is the original name given to the planet by the Assyrians around 700 B.C.

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5 Responses to Star of Ninib

  1. Somewhat says:

    I find this stuff just amazing. I remember when Voyager took off; I was five, and the idea that I’d be seventeen when it reached the end of the Solar System was just beyond my imagining. (Mind you, I also wondered if I’d be allowed to stay up to see midnight at the start of the new millennium. It didn’t occur to me that by the time I was twenty-eight, I could go to bed whenever I felt like it.)

    Hope I haven’t double-posted this. I don’t think it worked the first time.

  2. Scott says:

    Tres cool, indeed. I’ve only seen one launch — a shuttle back in late ’90 from my parents’ front yard, and it was awe-inspiring.

    We can’t let space go unexplored. We’ve too much to gain from it.

  3. Lambchop says:

    I’m a total space geek and proud of it! 🙂

    Back in 1990, my ex and I had passes to go in and watch Discovery lift off with the Hubble telescope. We were as close as the public was allowed to get – 2 miles away. I can’t even tell you how upset I was when they scrubbed the liftoff at T minus 4 seconds!! So I had to settle for watching it from afar from our hotel terrace in Disney a few days later. *sigh* That was the only live launch I ever got to see. All the others were on TV.

    The pics from Cassini have been awesome! I can’t believe it’s been 6 1/2 years since it took off already!! *sigh* I just love this shit! 🙂

  4. Ric The Schmuck says:

    (Please blame what follows on Adams, Sam-type)

    I read this post and completely misread the year of the launch, (and the words “six years ago”) and wondered how I could have possibly missed a rocket launch from Lee-vant.

    That is all.

  5. Christine says:

    Thank you for posting this! I would have commented on this post earlier today except that link led to link led to link, I’m sure you know how it is, and before I knew it I’d lost two hours… =)

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