Earth viewed from Saturn

25 April, 2017, 12:50 | Author: Archie Newman
  • Earth Spotted as point of light from Saturn's Icy Rings by Cassini

This made Cassini's grand finale death dive more special since images like this is considered rare during the entirety of its mission. Cassini zoomed past Venus and explored Jupiter before entering into orbit around the gas giant Saturn, the first spacecraft to do so.

Some key numbers for Cassini's Grand Finale and final plunge into Saturn. The Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker said that the grand finale of Cassini-Huygens is just another brand new mission because the space probe will show the biggest discoveries on its final orbit. The spacecraft, which has been studying the Saturn system since 2004, will start its Grand Finale mission Wednesday and end it by plunging into the planet's atmosphere September 15.

Cassini also will study Saturn's atmosphere and take measurements to determine the size of the planet's rocky core.

Cassini received a large increase in velocity of approximately 1,925 mph (precisely 860.5 meters per second) with respect to Saturn from the close encounter with Titan.

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Cassini captured this view on April 12, 2017, at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT on April 13). Cassini now begins one last campaign.... Through its travels in the ring gap, scientists hope that Cassini will help differentiate between the weight of Saturn and the weight of its rings. The spacecraft will be out of contact during the dive and for about a day afterward while it makes science observations from close to the planet.

Before the finale, Cassini managed to take some interesting images including an image of Earth from space. Images and other data are expected to begin flowing in shortly after communication is established.

Cassini is the most sophisticated space probe ever built.

If all goes well, Cassini will repeat that orbit on a weekly basis until September 15, collecting samples of Saturn's atmosphere and measuring its mass and weight in the process, according to The Verge.

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