Related topics: saturn · nasa · flyby · moon · european space agency

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

(Phys.org) —As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

Close views show Saturn's rings in unprecedented detail

Newly released images showcase the incredible closeness with which NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now in its "Ring-Grazing" orbits phase, is observing Saturn's dazzling rings of icy debris.

Search narrows for Planet Nine

US astronomers announced last month they may have found a ninth planet beyond Neptune, but conceded they had no idea where on an estimated 10,000-20,000-year orbit it might be.

Cassini finds flooded canyons on Titan

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found deep, steep-sided canyons on Saturn's moon Titan that are flooded with liquid hydrocarbons. The finding represents the first direct evidence of the presence of liquid-filled channels on ...

Cassini finds 'The Big Empty' close to Saturn

As NASA's Cassini spacecraft prepares to shoot the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings for the second time in its Grand Finale, Cassini engineers are delighted, while ring scientists are puzzled, that the region appears ...

Cassini watches mysterious feature evolve in Titan sea

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) in ...

Cassini mission prepares for 'grand finale' at Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable story. On Wednesday, April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 1,500-mile-wide ...

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Cassini–Huygens

Cassini–Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI robotic spacecraft mission currently studying the planet Saturn and its moons. The spacecraft consists of two main elements: the NASA Cassini orbiter, named after the Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the ESA Huygens probe, named after the Dutch astronomer, mathematician and physicist Christiaan Huygens. It was launched on October 15, 1997 and entered into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. On December 25, 2004 the Huygens probe separated from the orbiter at approximately 02:00 UTC; it reached Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005 where it made an atmospheric descent to the surface and relayed scientific information. On April 18, 2008, NASA announced a two year extension of the mission. Cassini is the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn and the fourth to visit it.

Hundreds of scientists and engineers from 16 European countries and 33 of the United States make up the team responsible for designing, building, flying and collecting data from the Cassini orbiter and Huygens probe. The mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the orbiter was designed and assembled. Development of the Huygens Titan probe was managed by the European Space Research and Technology Centre, whose prime contractor for the probe is Alcatel in France. Equipment and instruments for the probe were supplied from many countries. The Italian Space Agency (ASI) provided Cassini's high-gain communication antenna, and a revolutionary compact and light-weight multimode radar (synthetic aperture radar, radar altimeter, radiometer).

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