Published On: Fri, Aug 21st, 2015

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Views Dione for a Last Time

This perspective from NASA’s Cassini booster looks toward Saturn’s icy moon Dione, with hulk Saturn and a rings in a background, only before to a mission’s final tighten proceed to a moon on Aug 17, 2015. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft has prisoner new images of Saturn’s moon Dione during a final tighten proceed to a small, icy world. Two of a new images uncover a aspect of Dione during a best fortitude ever.

Cassini upheld 295 miles (474 kilometers) above Dione’s aspect during 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT) on Aug 17. This was a fifth tighten confront with Dione during Cassini’s prolonged debate during Saturn. The mission’s closest-ever flyby of Dione was in Dec 2011, during a stretch of 60 miles (100 kilometers).

The full set of images expelled currently is accessible at:

“I am moved, as we know everybody else is, looking during these artistic images of Dione’s aspect and crescent, and meaningful that they are a final we will see of this far-off universe for a really prolonged time to come,” pronounced Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging group lead during a Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado. “Right down to a last, Cassini has steadily delivered another unusual set of riches. How propitious we have been.”

Raw, unprocessed images from a flyby are accessible at:

As Cassini soared above high northern latitudes on Saturn’s moon Dione, a booster looked down during a segment nearby a day-night boundary. This perspective shows a segment as a contrast-enhanced picture in that facilities in shade are bright by reflected light from Saturn. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The categorical systematic concentration of this flyby was sobriety science, not imaging. This done capturing a images tricky, as Cassini’s camera was not determining where a booster pointed.

“We had only adequate time to snap a few images, giving us nice, high fortitude looks during a surface,” pronounced Tilmann Denk, a Cassini participating scientist during Freie University in Berlin. “We were means to make use of reflected object from Saturn as an additional light source, that suggested sum in a shadows of some of a images.”

Cassini scientists will investigate information from a sobriety scholarship examination and magnetosphere and plasma scholarship instruments over a subsequent few months as they demeanour for clues about Dione’s interior structure and processes inspiring a surface.

Only a handful of tighten flybys of Saturn’s large, icy moons sojourn for Cassini. The booster is scheduled to make 3 approaches to a geologically active moon Enceladus on Oct. 14 and 28, and Dec. 19. During a Oct. 28 flyby, a booster will come dizzyingly tighten to Enceladus, flitting a tiny 30 miles (49 kilometers) from a surface. Cassini will make a deepest-ever dive by a moon’s plume of icy mist during this time, collecting profitable information about what’s going on underneath a surface. The Dec Enceladus confront will be Cassini’s final tighten pass by that moon, during an altitude of 3,106 miles (4,999 kilometers).

After December, and by a mission’s end in late 2017, there are a handful of apart flybys designed for Saturn’s large, icy moons during ranges of reduction than about 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers). Cassini will, however, make scarcely dual dozen passes by a menagerie of Saturn’s small, irregularly made moons — including Daphnis, Telesto, Epimetheus and Aegaeon — during identical distances during this time. These passes will yield some of Cassini’s best-ever views of a small moons.

During a mission’s final year — called a Grand Finale — Cassini will regularly dive by a space between Saturn and a rings.

Source: Preston Dyches, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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