Cassini Mission - Still going (not)

Channel Hopper

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Having been extended (twice) following the original end of the mission in 2008, the Cassini probe continues to send back stunning images of the Saturn system, and confirmation above others, seven new satellites of this planet (now listed as 52).

The latest set of photos is due in over the next couple of days following the first of two 46 mile flybys of the snow covered moon Enceladus a week ago. Owing to the distance, power of the transmissions, and the resolution of the camera used, data takes up to ten days to be received and processed back on earth.

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/flybys/enceladus20120306/
 

Channel Hopper

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Some of the many Cassini images can be found here.

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/


(for example)

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS62/N00162242.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS72/N00185229.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS68/N00171310.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS57/N00151595.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS44/N00120298.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS72/N00185186.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS72/N00185311.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS35/N00098327.jpg
 

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Absolutely phenomenal pics ..
Many thanks for the update ..and picture links CH..
;)
 

Channel Hopper

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Some experiments carried out en-route to Saturn proved Einsteins Theory of Relativity to be error free to around 1 in 50000.

_http://einstein.stanford.edu/SPACETIME/spacetime3.html
 

Channel Hopper

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And they're in

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS72/N00185283.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS72/N00185284.jpg

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/raw/casJPGFullS72/N00185290.jpg
 

Channel Hopper

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Apologies, the second and third images in my last post were of the moon Dione, not Enceladus.

On a slightly different note though, some of the shots returned over the past few years show not only the vast blackness of space at these distances from the Sun, but the sheer number of particles that are trapped by the gravity pull of Saturn.

Compare these two of the moon Janus, and note the streaks (moving in all directions) in the lighter second raw photo.
 

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Channel Hopper

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Not to be overshadowed by the Mars lander, the Cassini project is again bringing in some spectacular pictures, partly due to the craft now orbiting Saturn in a - more or less - polar orbit.

The complete set of rings come into view once every 7-20 days or so (or 3.5 - 10 days for each side depending on the orbit), the latest pictures and logs can be found here

_http://www.ciclops.org/ir_index/143/Cassini_In_Orbit
 

Channel Hopper

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Preparations completed, the next major task is for a fly-by full check on the ionosphere of Titan.

A week to go

_http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/flybys/titan20120926/
 

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A bit OT but is Voyager still transmitting?
 

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Channel Hopper

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And a possible 63rd - confirmed - moon in the making

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27056698


which may of course be something to do with flying through the rings in the first place some ten years back.

Scientists and engineers breathed a sigh of relief late Wednesday at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a signal indicated first that Cassini — launched nearly seven years ago — safely passed through the ring plane and then performed a crucial engine firing. It squeezed through a gap in Saturn’s shimmering rings, fired its brakes and settled into a near-perfect orbit around the giant planet.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5333700/n...probe-sends-stunning-ring-views/#.U1rw7VVdXQ0
 

Captain Jack

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That's a shame - I am sure there's plenty of life left in that craft.
 

Channel Hopper

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Cassini was to have been retired nearly eight years ago, the scientists have kept her going without repairs, MOT or tax renewal, so they may be up for flying something around uninsured. Probably better to dump her in a lake somewhere sooner rather than later.
 

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TJExcalibur

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Amazing pictures. The mind boggles at trying to comprehend it all.
 
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