New video of Saturn and Jupiter stirs the imagination

In my opinion this is one of the coolest space videos I've seen in a long time. The video shows images of Saturn and Jupiter captured by NASA's Voyager and Cassini spacecraft in spectacular detail. We see Saturn's rings come alive and the cosmic storms swirl on both Saturn and Jupiter.

It's such an awe inspiring view of these iconic planets that had I seen this back in high school I might have ended up studying astronomy.

The black and white video below is the handiwork of Dutch freelance editor Sander van den Berg is called "Outer Space." It takes us up close to Saturn, Jupiter and their moons and then pulls out for big picture views that allow us to see these systems in perspective.

While there may be more colorful and up-to-date shots out there, these grainy shots, lovingly stitched together make space and its mysteries seem new again.

The video would not have been possible without the powerhouse Voyager and Cassini probes.

The Voyager probes — twin spacecraft launched a few weeks apart back in 1977 were designed to study Saturn and Jupiter. They did just that — giving us a new look at the planets and their moons.

A closer look at Enceladus — Saturn's sixth moon — shows an ice encrusted surface that could harbor a liquid ocean deep underneath the surface. The video shows icy plumes of water vapor, salts and carbonates reaching into the atmosphere.

Voyager has also captured new information about Jupiter's innermost moon, Io. The spacecraft captured a live volcanic eruption on the surface — the first such activity recorded beyond our Earth. Subsequent study of Io has identified some 400 volcanoes on Io making it the most geologically active in the solar system.

Far from quitting when their mission was over, the Voyage spacecraft have gone on past Saturn and Jupiter to cruise around the edge of the solar system. Voyager 1 is about 11 billion miles away and Voyager 2 at 9 billion miles.

The Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997 and reached Saturn in 2004. It's continuing study there and has also had its mission extended through 2017. If the Voyager probes are any example, Cassini could be harvesting data well into the future.

These space probes have more than paid their way by providing us these amazing insights to strange new worlds. Plus, as this video shows, they contribute to science by continuing to inspire a desire to explore beyond our Earth.


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