Cassini Saturn moons research continues

This video is called The First 1000 Days: Cassini Explores The Saturn System.


Saturn mission goes into overtime

July 1, 2008

The multibillion-dollar Cassini orbiter has officially ended its four-year primary mission to Saturn — ushering in a two-year extended mission that will focus on the ringed planet’s mysterious moons.

The primary mission began when the spacecraft entered Saturnian orbit on July 1, 2004 (or June 30 in some time zones). Cassini produced the first pictures that pierced the haze surrounding Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon. The orbiter also sent down a European-built piggyback lander called Huygens, which beamed back pictures from Titan’s surface. The Cassini-Huygens observations revealed that Titan was laced with hydrocarbon seas and channels.

Cassini also discovered geysers of ice spewing from Enceladus, another Saturnian moon that may harbor subsurface oceans and perhaps even life.

Titan and Enceladus are the primary targets for Cassini’s extended mission, which NASA approved in April. Cassini will also monitor seasonal effects on Titan and Saturn, explore Saturn’s magnetic field and witness Saturn’s equinox on Aug. 11, 2009, when sunlight will pass directly through the plane of the planet‘s rings.

The spacecraft’s new agenda has been dubbed the Cassini Equinox Mission in honor of the astronomical event, which occurs roughly every 15 years.

How Enceladus got its stripes: here.

For one of Saturn’s many moons – Enceladus – the stripes are what make it unique: here.

Nasa has released the latest raw images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, from the Cassini spacecraft’s extended mission to the planet and its satellites: here.

Since its successful insertion into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft has proved to be one of the most fruitful scientific explorations ever conducted. For the past ten years, Cassini has provided extraordinary scientific data on Saturn’s atmosphere and magnetic field, its complex ring system and its numerous moons, including the descent of the Huygens probe onto the surface of Saturn’s largest satellite, Titan. To date, Cassini is the only man-made object to enter orbit around that planet: here.

Planet Mercury: here.

Moon landing anniversary: Walking to a dark future? Here.

15 thoughts on “Cassini Saturn moons research continues

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