“Ring Rain” Pelted Cassini Spacecraft During Its Final Orbits

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft flamed out in Saturn’s atmosphere a year ago, but the data it collected during its final orbits led to an amazing discovery — ring rain! As the probe dove between the rings and upper atmosphere, it was bathed in a downpour of dust. Hsiang-Wen Hsu (Colorado University-Boulder) and colleagues report that they…
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NASA Releases Cassini’s Final View Of Titan’s ‘Land O’ Lakes’

A year ago on September 15, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was deliberately plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere after orbiting the planet for 13 years. During its final distant encounter with Saturn’s giant moon Titan 4 days prior, Cassini captured this last photo of the moon’s north polar landscape of lakes and seas, which are filled with liquid…
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Cassini’s Final Postcard From Saturn: ‘Wish I Could Still Be Here’

Adios, ciao, auf Wiedersehen, bon voyage. In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series of images that has been assembled into a…
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The Planets And Moon Have Something Nice In Store

Earlier this morning, Mars and Mercury passed very close to one another low in the eastern sky at dawn. Sunday morning (Sept. 17), they’ll still be just ½° apart and preceded by the star Regulus, planet Venus and the crescent moon.  It gets even better on the 18th, when the moon, now sliver-thin, resides like a…
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Cassini’s Death Dive Into Saturn Imminent

NASA’s 13-year Cassini mission at Saturn ends Friday. At 5:31 a.m. CDT, Cassini will enter Saturn’s atmosphere, and by 7 a.m., after traveling 932 million miles and 83 minutes, its final bit of data will reach mission control. Then silence. In the remaining days, its mission status will be updated here. The following list includes news conferences and…
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