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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A Beguiling Crescent-Planet Rendezvous / My New Book

Will we ever get bored of looking at crescent moons? No way. There can never be too many. Lots of times, crescents meet planets and booya, we get a pretty pairing called a conjunction. That happens tonight when the 2-day-old moon joins Saturn and Mercury low in the southwestern sky at dusk. The moon will…
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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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T-Minus 20 Days: Cassini Keeps Opening Our Eyes

You’d think by now we’d know exactly how long a day is on Saturn, but Cassini’s still working on it. On a terrestrial planet, you can time when a landmark cycles back around, but Saturn’s covered in clouds, so  pinning down the day has been tricky. That’s why Cassini has been looking closely at Saturn’s…
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