Carolyn Porco Quotes

Carolyn C. Porco (born March 6, 1953) is an American planetary scientist known for her work in the exploration of the outer solar system, beginning with her imaging work on the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the 1980s. She leads the imaging science team on the Cassini mission currently in orbit around Saturn. She is an expert on planetary rings and the Saturnian moon, Enceladus.

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Carolyn Porco


All the atoms of our bodies will be blown into space in the disintegration of the solar system, to live on forever as mass or energy. That's what we should be teaching our children, not fairy tales about angels and seeing grandma in Heaven.

Carolyn Porco


There is a powerful recognition that stirs within us when we see our little blue ocean planet in the skies of other worlds. In an instant we can see how small, fragile, and alone we all really are.

Carolyn Porco


“So we think we have a Yellowstone-type liquid geyser tens of meters deep. We're fairly confident because we have exhausted all the other models.”

Carolyn Porco


“[Of intense interest will be a Cassini determination of the periodicity in the appearance of spokes. This will require monitoring spoke activity from a variety of geometries over several years.] Cassini has found that the SKR period has changed since Voyager, which though hard to believe, may mean that the rotation of Saturn's interior has changed, ... That would be a finding of enormous consequence, so, we'll be looking very closely to see if the frequency of spoke activity has changed too.”

Carolyn Porco


“We are at this very moment looking to see what the best times are for retargeting. Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of them.”

Carolyn Porco


“We are at this very moment looking to see what the best times are for retargeting, ... Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of them.”

Carolyn Porco


“This has been a heart-stopper, and surely one of our most thrilling results.”

Carolyn Porco


“Well, in some sense we should have expected, if the recent models are correct, to see them on the dark side where the photoelectron abundance is low. So, I was surprised to see them. But once they showed up, I realized we should have expected them there all along.”

Carolyn Porco


“Cassini is different -- it's a mission of enormous scope and is being conducted in grand style. It is much more sophisticated than Voyager, ... I can't say it's got that flavor of romance, though. Voyager was very romantic. Cassini is spectacular.”

Carolyn Porco


“We had convinced ourselves that conditions wouldn't be right for seeing spokes on the lit side of the rings until about 2007, ... But this finding seems to be telling us that conditions on the dark side of the rings are almost as good right now for seeing spokes.”

Carolyn Porco


“It's been an adventure just getting out to Saturn, ... Saturn is such an alluring photographic target. It's a joy, really, to be able to take our images and composite them in an artful way, which is one of my cardinal working goals. It's about poetry and beauty and science all mixed together.”

Carolyn Porco


“These are among the things we hope to learn. [The spokes] are obviously related to a host of processes…and may point to some important effects in understanding the magnetic field and the planet's magnetosphere, and how these systems interact with the rings and atmosphere.”

Carolyn Porco


“I don't think you have to be a ring scientist to appreciate this. I'm blown away.”

Carolyn Porco


“We acquired this spectacular, one-of-a-kind set of images immediately after getting into orbit for the express purpose of seeing fine details in the rings that we had not seen previously.”

Carolyn Porco


“Since we hadn't ever seen the rings in this kind of detail, we were looking for phenomena we'd never seen before.”

Carolyn Porco