Cassini spacecraft’s amazing photos: Close-ups of Saturn, rings & moons

In all, Cassini has provided more than 453,000 pictures of Saturn, its rings and moons. The final snapshots will be coming down hours before the spacecraft's fiery finish on Friday. Cassini will burn up like a meteor in Saturn's sky.

By: AP | Published: September 13, 2017 8:57 pm
Cassini, Saturn, Cassini Mission, Cassini self-destruction, Cassini Saturn snapshots, Saturn images, Saturn ring images, Saturn moon images, Jet Propulsiojn Laboratory, Cassini probe, Cassini final plunge, Saturn atmosphere The final snapshots will be coming down hours before the spacecraft’s fiery finish on Friday. (Image Source: AP)

Until Cassini’s arrival at Saturn in 2004, humanity had never viewed Saturn up close and personal. In all, Cassini has provided more than 453,000 pictures of Saturn, its rings and moons. The final snapshots will be coming down hours before the spacecraft’s fiery finish on Friday. Cassini will burn up like a meteor in Saturn’s sky.

“These final images are sort of like taking a last look around your house or apartment just before you move out,” said project scientist Linda Spilker of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “You walk around the downstairs, as you go upstairs, you run your fingers along the banister, you look at your old room and memories across the years come flooding back.

“And in the same way, Cassini is taking a last look around the Saturn system, Cassini’s home for the last 13 years. And with those pictures come heartwarming memories.” The final targets — all repeats — include big moon Titan and little moon Enceladus, one or both of them potentially harboring life; tiny moonlets embedded in Saturn’s rings; and one final color montage of Saturn and its rings.

No photos will be taken during Cassini’s final plunge through Saturn’s atmosphere. Instead, scientific instruments will sample the atmosphere and send back the data until the spacecraft goes out of control and its antenna no longer points toward Earth. Telescopes on the ground — nearly a billion miles away — will attempt to capture the cosmic flash. But nothing will be close enough to fully record Cassini’s demise.

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  1. Rohitkumar H. Vora
    Sep 15, 2017 at 7:28 am
    Thursday, September 14th 2017 Part -3. Every good thing must come to its end, so that new things get birth. Cassini in its death drive may provide for the last time some very valuable information about Saturn’s inner rings and upper atmospheres before disintegrating. I definitely will save sufficient time to watch NASA’s broadcast of Cassini’s G Finale at NASAJPL URL: : /nasajpl/ -Rohit ------------------------------------------ -Rohitkumar H. Vora, PhD Polymers Nanomaterials Research Scientist Linked_in: s: linkedin /in/rohitkumar-h-vora-phd-72814212/
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    1. Rohitkumar H. Vora
      Sep 15, 2017 at 7:27 am
      Thursday, September 14th 2017 Part -2. The meticulous data analysis help scientist to hypothesize any possibility of survival of life on Saturn’s Moon ‘ an’ or other planets anywhere in the universe, as we know on earth, and perfecting aerospace materials technology and expertise which would help earth-lingers for the eventual expedition to such Planets in our Solar system and beyond. Cassini is going perform its last “Swan Song” on Friday, September 15, 2017 at Earth Time (in USA East Coast Time) 4:55 AM after little over 13 years orbiting around Planet Saturn and its Rings and Moons. Cassini–Huygens (aka Cassini) was launched on October 15, 1997 from the NASA’s launch-pad located at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40. It will be sad to watch Cassini last Swan Song and dive in to oblivion, But then, again, as our life has taught us that nothing is permanent when it comes to human body, and importantly, when things are manmade.
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      1. Rohitkumar H. Vora
        Sep 15, 2017 at 7:26 am
        Thursday, September 14th 2017 Part -1. All the arguments and discussions about the Lawsuit and Nuclear materials onboard of NASA’s flagship-class" unmanned robotic spacecraft Cassini at the present time is useless and would be waste of time. Many more unmanned robotic spacecraft would be sent to other Planets in our Solar System and also in the ‘outer-space’ to known Stars in major Galaxies in the Universe. All of these spacecraft will carry nuclear fuel (has to have it as there is no alternate source of fuel energy available or envisioned, yet) as was the case with Cassini and other spacecraft before that. These long-planned and far-fetched experiments would provide NASA and other Space Agencies and Astronomers around the globe very useful information to develop the fundamental knowledge up-close, and ability to photograph, analysis data and determine the Planetary systems and Stars’s evolution, their chemical and physical make up, etc,
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