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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturn and Titan

One of the rewards of being an amateur astronomer is that from time to time you get to discover on your own astronomical facts that were actually discovered centuries ago. Like the orbital period of Titan. About ten days ago I reported on my early morning observations of Saturn. Titan was in the far right of my field of view. Then, a week later I looked again and saw that Titan was now in the far left of the field of view. It looked like it it had gone to the opposite end of its orbital track in about a week. I checked and, sure enough, Titan takes about 15 earth days to complete an orbit. Neat.

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  1. Congratulazioni

  2. Well put! It is extremely satisfying to discover for oneself- hands-on- these sorts of properties and facts. Like in the homebrewing art, each one goes at his/her own pace. One man's "old hat" is another's "new hat". Plugging music: I encourage anyone out there who has an inkling to play a musical instrument to do so,without fear or trepidation... and NOT worry about Itzak Perlman being a world-class violinist or the bass player from Rush being top dog. The journey is about personal discovery and experimentation. That, sir, is the essence of any art (or science). Scientists and engineers (especially) often forget that. For example, it's cool to be able to look up at the Moon, Jupiter, Venus,Mars and Saturn and have a real sense that they are our neighbours, concenate (I think that is the verb) their relative motions a bit, and recognise their movements. Maybe Max Planck and S.Hawking would yawn, but I bet they couldn't play the violin or the the bass too well. ;)

  3. Love the illustration you used. It's from a vintage set of Time-Life books that I grew up on. I still have those books and flip through them on occasion.


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