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Ten years ago today, the spacecraft Cassini, and we along with it, made our official entrance into the kingdom of Saturn. On that day, we performed our first, mind-blowing encounter — one of many yet to come — with Saturn’s outer moon, Phoebe. The sharpness of our images, the startling geological details on the moon’s surface, the clear presence of water ice, and the sheer jolt of excitement at such a daring strafing pass by this remote celestial body stunned us all into a happy stupor. We knew then we had a long, historic and thrilling adventure up ahead. And we were right! 

As one of the planet’s outer `irregular’ moons, Phoebe is believed to be a Sun-orbiting outer solar system body that was gravitationally tugged into orbit around Saturn, and as such, it is cousin to Pluto and the other members of the Kuiper Belt. So gaze long and hard at these images of distant Phoebe, knowing that in a bit more than a year, humanity will complete the reconnaissance of the classical solar system when the New Horizons spacecraft arrives at Pluto, and we and it, at long last, come face to face.

Enjoy! Arrival and Departure at Phoebe

A Seedy CD

(Part of the territory of working in a copy and print shop is you are going to see some ‘private’ photos sometimes. While you are allowed to refuse to print something you are uncomfortable with, most of us don’t care and just turn the print upside-down once done to avoid offending other customers. On this particular day, a regular customer comes in, who we all know manages a ‘gentleman’s club’ in town.)

Customer: “Okay, the image is on this CD, it should be the only one there.”

Me: “Okay. Let me just look at it on the computer before you go, so I know it’s the right one and it copied to the disk properly.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: *realizing immediately that I can’t describe this image in front of other customers* “Er… sir, do you want to come around the counter and look to make sure the image is correct?”

Customer: *very loudly* “IS IT A MIDGET STRIPPING?”

Me: “… Yes. Yes, in fact, it is…”

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