Cassini Probe Images and Final Plunge

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On October 15, 1997, the Cassini Probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on a seven year voyage through the inner planets, past Jupiter and the Asteroid Belt, on its way to the Saturnian system.

Here are some amazing photos that Cassini took3on her voyage to Saturn.

Handout image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars are all visible

 

 

  • Image One: Saturn in all its heavenly glory

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  • Image Two: The Hexagonal Storm on the North Pole of Saturn

Painting for NASA/STScI

  • Image Three: The Aurora on Saturn’s South Pole

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  • Image Four: Cassini’s final plunge into Saturn’s Atmosphere

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  • Image Five: Saturn in all its glory

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  • Image Six: Cassini Stats

In order to preserve the pristine nature of Enceladus and Titan, and all the other moons and moonlets that orbit Saturn, the choice was made to send Cassini into the atmosphere to insure no contamination of the moons of Saturn for future exploration, and not to contaminate worlds yet explored by microbes that might contaminate pristine worlds so far away. On Friday morning Cassini took its final bow, transmitting all the data in real time to Australia as she streaked into Saturn’s upper atmosphere and disintegrated.

The end of Cassini is sad, but what we know today was worth every minute Cassini orbited the Saturnian world.

We have a wealth of Data coming down in data link as we speak. And further research will last for years to come as that data is analyzed and poured over by scientists and researches.

Cassini gave us insight of Saturn and its system, moons and rings that we could not have imagined and found water ice on Enceladus, and methan and ethane on Titan. Maybe one day we might find that, indeed, we are not alone in the universe on some cosmic level.

When that day comes, we can all thank the massive team at NASA and the JPL and the folks in Australia for all their hard work in collecting data that takes 87 minutes from Saturn to reach earth, after the Cassini probe pointed its antenna at Earth from across the galaxy.

We will miss Cassini, at least I will because I have followed this mission since its inception and launch so many years ago.

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