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Keyword: cassini

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  • Cassini's Saturn Crash 2017 – How to Watch Its 'Grand Finale

    09/07/2017 11:09:01 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    , Space.com ^ | September 7, 2017 11:00am ET | Mike Wall Senior Writer |
    NASA will air a series of webcasts leading up Cassini’s final suicide plunge, which you will be able to watch here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. Here’s the streaming schedule: Wednesday, Sept. 13 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT): News conference from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), home of Cassini’s mission control, providing a detailed preview of final mission activities. Thursday, Sept. 14 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT (1700 to 2200 GMT): NASA Social event at JPL that includes a speaker program, which will be webcast live. About 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT on Sept. 15): Final downlink of...
  • NASA's Cassini Saturn Mission's Finale: "Something Unexpected is Awaiting Discovery"

    07/25/2017 9:47:51 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 50 replies
    The Daily Galaxy ^ | 24 Jul, 2017
    As NASA's Cassini spacecraft makes its unprecedented series of weekly dives between Saturn and its rings, scientists are finding—so far—that the planet's magnetic field has no discernable tilt. This surprising observation, which means the true length of Saturn's day is still unknown, is just one of several early insights from the final phase of Cassini's mission, known as the Grand Finale. Other recent science highlights include promising hints about the structure and composition of the icy rings, along with high-resolution images of the rings and Saturn's atmosphere. Cassini is now in the 15th of 22 weekly orbits that pass through...
  • Saturn’s Hexagon Will be the Star of the Cassini Finale

    05/10/2017 6:42:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 10 May , 2017 | Matt Williams
    he Cassini spacecraft is nearing the end of its lifespan. This September, after spending the past twenty years in space – twelve and a half of which were dedicated to studying Saturn and its system of moons – the probe will be crash into Saturn’s atmosphere. But between now and then, the probe will be making its “Grand Finale” – the final phase of its mission where it will dive between the planet and its rings 22 times. In addition to exploring this region of Saturn (something no other mission has done), the probe will also be using this opportunity...
  • Cassini Craft Beams Closest Images Ever Taken Of Saturn

    04/27/2017 2:17:13 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    www.npr.org ^ | April 27, 20179:28 AM ET | Bill Chappell
    Images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the closest-ever views of Saturn's swirled atmosphere and its massive hurricane. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute ================================================================================================================================ NASA's Cassini spacecraft is giving earthlings their closest-ever views of Saturn's swirled atmosphere and its massive hurricane, beaming a trove of images and data back to Earth after the craft made its first dive between Saturn and its rings Wednesday. Cassini is "showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division. The raw images are being fed into a photo stream on NASA's website,...
  • Cassini’s First Grand Finale Dive

    04/26/2017 4:03:40 AM PDT · by Ulmius · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | April 26, 2017 | NASA/JPL
    Cassini’s First Grand Finale Dive: Milestones Updated April 26, 2017 at 2 a.m. PDT Cassini has made its first dive between the rings and Saturn. It is not in contact with Earth at this time and is expected to regain contact via NASA’s Deep Space Network no earlier than around midnight PDT on April 26, 2017 (3 a.m. EDT on April 27, 2017).
  • Cassini snaps a tiny moon shaping Saturn's ring

    01/19/2017 11:42:35 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    CNET ^ | 01/18/2017 | Michelle Starr
    This new picture from NASA's Cassini probe shows off the peculiarity of Daphnis, a moon so tiny it wasn't discovered until 2005. It's just 8 kilometres (5 miles) across, and irregularly shaped, which gives it a wobbly orbit. ... The Keeler gap is just 42 kilometres (26 miles) wide, and Daphnis' distance varies from Saturn by about 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), while it moves up and down by about 17 kilometres (10.5 miles). This eccentricity, and Daphnis' gravity, causes peaked waves to form on the edges of the gap, in both vertical and horizontal directions. In this new image, taken...
  • All Good Things: Countdown Begins Toward Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Around Saturn

    04/30/2016 8:42:56 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 9 replies
    AmericaSpace ^ | 4/29/16 | Leonidas Papadopoulos
    All Good Things: Countdown Begins Toward Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Around Saturn By Leonidas Papadopoulos Artist's concept of Cassini's final orbits between the Saturn's innermost rings and the planet's cloud tops. This set of orbits will consist the last leg of Cassini's mission, called "The Grand Finale," which will culminate with a plunge on Saturn's atmosphere in September 2017. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL It has become something of a hackneyed phrase, but in the case of NASA's Cassini spacecraft it is rather fitting: an epic mission of exploration of Saturn that has single-handedly changed our view of the ringed planet,...
  • NASA reports Cassini spacecraft orbit unaffected by theorized undiscovered Planet 9

    04/10/2016 8:30:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    clarksvilleonline.com ^ | 04/10/2016 | Preston Dyches
    Contrary to recent reports, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is not experiencing unexplained deviations in its orbit around Saturn, according to mission managers and orbit determination experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Several recent news stories have reported that a mysterious anomaly in Cassini’s orbit could potentially be explained by the gravitational tug of a theorized massive new planet in our solar system, lurking far beyond the orbit of Neptune.
  • Cassini Begins Final Swoop of Saturn Moon Enceladus

    12/18/2015 2:42:04 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    Cassini is due to pass 3,106 miles from Enceladus at 12:49 p.m. EST. Scientists want to use the flyby to study how much heat is coming up through the ice from the moon's interior. The measurements will help researchers figure out what is driving Enceladus' plumes. "Understanding how much warmth Enceladus has in its heart provides insight into its remarkable geologic activity," Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. Cassini will continue to observe Enceladus during the remainder of its mission, but it will be at least four times farther...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Enceladus: Ringside Water World

    12/03/2015 11:53:27 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | December 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Saturn's icy moon Enceladus poses above the gas giant's icy rings in this Cassini spacecraft image. The dramatic scene was captured on July 29, while Cassini cruised just below the ring plane, its cameras looking back in a nearly sunward direction about 1 million kilometers from the moon's bright crescent. At 500 kilometers in diameter, Enceladus is a surprisingly active moon though, its remarkable south polar geysers are visible venting beyond a dark southern limb. In fact, data collected during Cassini's flybys and years of images have recently revealed the presence of a global ocean of liquid water beneath...
  • Cassini Spies Bright Venus From Saturn Orbit

    10/24/2015 5:59:52 PM PDT · by lbryce · 3 replies
    NASA-Google Plus ^ | March 1, 2013 | NASA
    Seeing Earth first from Mars and then from Saturn was indeed mind-boggling but the recent long distance image from Saturn of Venus really amazed me, especially since it occured over two years ago. Peering over the shoulder of giant Saturn, through its rings, and across interplanetary space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft spies the bright, cloudy terrestrial planet, Venus. The vast distance from Saturn means that Venus only shows up as a white dot, just above and to the right of the image center. Venus, along with Mercury, Earth, and Mars, is one of the rocky 'terrestrial' planets in the solar...
  • Closest northern views of Saturn's moon Enceladus

    10/16/2015 8:23:34 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | October 16, 2015 | NASA
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft zoomed by Saturn's icy moon Enceladus on Oct. 14, 2015, capturing this stunning image of the moon's north pole. A companion view from the wide-angle camera shows a zoomed out view of the same region for context. Scientists expected the north polar region of Enceladus to be heavily cratered, based on low-resolution images from the Voyager mission, but high-resolution Cassini images show a landscape of stark contrasts. Thin cracks cross over the pole -- the northernmost extent of a global system of such fractures. Before this Cassini flyby, scientists did not know if the fractures extended so...
  • Cassini’s Farewell Look at Dione

    08/19/2015 11:35:44 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Universe Today ^ | David Dickenson
    Cassini passed just 474 kilometers (295 miles) above the surface of the icy moon on Monday, August 17th at 2:33 PM EDT/18:33 UT. The flyby is the fifth and final pass of Cassini near Dione (pronounced dahy-OH-nee). The closest passage was 100 kilometers (60 miles) in December 2011. This final flyby of Dione will give researchers a chance to probe the tiny world’s internal structure, as Cassini flies through the gravitational influence of the moon. Cassini has only gathered gravity science data on a handful of Saturn’s 62 known moons. “Dione has been an enigma, giving hints of active geologic...
  • What Are These Strange Scarlet Streaks Spotted on Tethys?

    07/29/2015 11:40:55 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 29, 2015 | Jason Major
    They stretch for long distances across the moon’s surface following the rugged terrain, continuing unbroken over hills and down into craters… and their cause isn’t yet known. According to a NASA news release, “The origin of the features and their reddish color is currently a mystery to Cassini scientists. Possibilities being studied include ideas that the reddish material is exposed ice with chemical impurities, or the result of outgassing from inside Tethys. The streaks could also be associated with features like fractures that are below the resolution of the available images.” The images were taken by Cassini during a flyby...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Company of Dione

    07/08/2015 3:46:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: That is not our Moon. It's Dione, and it's a moon of Saturn. The robotic Cassini spacecraft took the featured image during a flyby of Saturn's cratered Moon last month. Perhaps what makes this image so interesting, though, is the background. First, the large orb looming behind Dione is Saturn itself, faintly lit by sunlight first reflected from the rings. Next, the thin lines running diagonally across the image are the rings of Saturn themselves. The millions of icy rocks that compose Saturn's spectacular rings all orbit Saturn in the same plane, and so appear surprisingly thin when seen...
  • Cassini Gets Final, Stunning View of Saturn's Moon Hyperion

    06/01/2015 4:51:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    discovery.com ^ | Jason Major
    On Sunday, May 31, 2015, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its latest and final flyby of Hyperion, Saturn’s spongy moon. At around 9:36 a.m. EDT Cassini came within 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of Hyperion’s surface — not its closest approach ever but certainly close enough to grab some fantastic images of this porous and punched-in world. ... At 255 x 163 x 137 miles (410 x 262 x 220 kilometers), Hyperion is the largest of Saturn’s irregularly-shaped moons and its eighth-largest overall. Scientists think it could be what’s left over from a larger moon that was blown apart in the distant...
  • It's not over 'til Saturn's squidgy moon sings: Cassini probe set for final Hyperion fly-by

    05/30/2015 3:45:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    .theregister.co.uk ^ | Kelly Fiveash
    Mission scientists have hopes of seeing different terrain on Hyperion than the mission has previously explored in detail during the encounter, but this is not guaranteed. Hyperion (168 miles, 270 kilometres across) rotates chaotically, essentially tumbling unpredictably through space as it orbits Saturn. Because of this, it’s challenging to target a specific region of the moon's surface, and most of Cassini's previous close approaches have encountered more or less the same familiar side of the craggy moon.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Huygens Lands on Titan [flashback]

    01/16/2015 5:24:30 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | January 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Delivered by Saturn-bound Cassini, ESA's Huygens probe touched down on the ringed planet's largest moon Titan, ten years ago on January 14, 2005. These panels show fisheye images made during its slow descent by parachute through Titan's dense atmosphere. Taken by the probe's descent imager/spectral radiometer instrument they range in altitude from 6 kilometers (upper left) to 0.2 kilometers (lower right) above the moon's surprisingly Earth-like surface of dark channels, floodplains, and bright ridges. But at temperatures near -290 degrees C, the liquids flowing across Titan's surface are methane and ethane, hydrocarbons rather than water. After making the most...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crescent Rhea Occults Crescent Saturn

    01/04/2015 7:50:02 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | January 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Soft hues, partially lit orbs, a thin trace of the ring, and slight shadows highlight this understated view of the majestic surroundings of the giant planet Saturn. Looking nearly back toward the Sun, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn captured crescent phases of Saturn and its moon Rhea in color a few years ago. As striking as the above image is, it is but a single frame from a 60-frame silent movie where Rhea can be seen gliding in front of its parent world. Since Cassini was nearly in the plane of Saturn's rings, the normally impressive rings...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Soaring over Titan

    11/24/2014 12:45:57 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it look like to fly over Titan? Radar images from NASA's robotic Cassini satellite in orbit around Saturn have been digitally compiled to simulate such a flight. Cassini has swooped past Saturn's cloudiest moon several times since it arrived at the ringed planet in 2004. The virtual flight featured here shows numerous lakes colored black and mountainous terrain colored tan. Surface regions without detailed vertical information appear more flat, while sufficiently mapped regions have their heights digitally stretched. Among the basins visualized is Kraken Mare, Titan's largest lake which spans over 1,000 kilometers long. Titan's lakes are...