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Featured Cassini's Grand Finale

  1. Apr 7, 2017 #1
    I thought this is interesting (and new)!

    Any thoughts or insights?
    E.g. I liked the "... as Cassini becomes part of the planet itself ..." on 3' 12'' ...
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2017 #2


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    Indeed. That was probably my favorite part too. It actually looked realistic.
  4. Apr 7, 2017 #3
    I guess we'll find out on September 15 [2017], or so ...
  5. Apr 11, 2017 #4
    Also, of course, on April 26, a few days from now, Cassini's last mission begins (with its little remaining fuel), i.e. diving (several times) between Saturn and its rings ...
    That ought to give us some cool pictures ... and knowledge.
    I am looking forward to that! ...
  6. Apr 11, 2017 #5


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    It should be an amazing view. I almost wish I was there!
  7. Apr 26, 2017 #6
    Check out today's [April 26, 2017] google's doodle! (devoted to Cassini! ...)

    Also, a few days ago, I also found this interesting video about reviewing Cassini and its mission (it seems overall scientifically valid):

    What I liked most about it is the explanation why Cassini has to go on Saturn itself, rather than on Titan or Enceladus (the most interesting of its moons). Check it out on 5' and forth.

    Just a minor correction [on the video] (which I also noted in the comments section):

    "1st dive begins April 26 not 22. On the 22nd passed by Titan for the last time. Today April 26 reaches near the rings for the first dive."
  8. Apr 27, 2017 #7
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft re-established contact with ground controllers shortly before 3 a.m. ET after passing through the gap between Saturn and the planet's rings. NASA says the probe is now beaming back data gathered during the "dive."

    Cassini was out of contact as it began its journey into the gap because the spacecraft's dish antenna was used as a shield to protect it from possible damage from ring particles. The antenna had been oriented away from Earth. Cassini was out of contact for about 22 hours.

    In a NASA statement, the project manager said all had gone as hoped:

    " 'No spacecraft has ever been this close to Saturn before. We could only rely on predictions, based on our experience with Saturn's other rings, of what we thought this gap between the rings and Saturn would be like,' said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. 'I am delighted to report that Cassini shot through the gap just as we planned and has come out the other side in excellent shape.' "

    Cassini's Grand Finale, as it weaves its way between Saturn and its rings in a series of 22 dives that will culminate in what the agency describes as "a science-rich plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15."

    Cassini was launched in 1997; its mission is slated to end one month before the 20-year mark.

    NASA said Cassini came within about 1,900 miles of Saturn's cloud tops and about 200 miles from the innermost edge of Saturn's rings. Project scientists believe ring particles in the gap are no bigger than smoke particles and were confident they would not pose a threat to the spacecraft.
  9. Apr 27, 2017 #8


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  10. Apr 27, 2017 #9
    Are the blue arches how far the probe will make the many passes? They are very far out or is the distance relative?
  11. Apr 27, 2017 #10


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    They look like the actual orbit paths to me. See how each one now is diving through the gap between Saturn and its innermost ring?
  12. Apr 27, 2017 #11
    That's what I thought, but if those passes are so far away from Saturn how can the probe crash into the planet? I am guessing on the last pass it doesn't come out of the gravity field.
  13. Apr 27, 2017 #12


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    Yep. Spash! :smile:
  14. Apr 27, 2017 #13
    I am imagining how awesome (per say) it would be to be inside that probe watching the fall, of course it will be a one way trip for anyone.

    I hope they record the fall pointing the camera toward the planet. It will be scary but amazing to see it.
  15. Apr 27, 2017 #14
    I think it's likely that that will do that since there will be no longer be a motivation to protect instruments aboard the craft.
    It will be the only chance to look at the planet's cloud tops close up for quite a while.
    I suppose the main consideration though will be to keep the transmitter sending data for as long as possible.
  16. Apr 27, 2017 #15
    I mean exactly what you said in the last sentence... even if not live but allow the general public to view the "fall" in first person view.
  17. Apr 27, 2017 #16
    First dive √

    Next one May 2
  18. Apr 29, 2017 #17
    Here is a more complete and quick-view compilation of the 1st dive stunning images:

    NASA's Cassini site:

    Next dive in 2 days, 18 hrs, 45min from now.

    Note: the video (although not directly by the NASA channel - but see description) shows compilation of the first 116 low-res raw images released by NASA to the public on the above website a couple of days ago.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  19. Apr 29, 2017 #18


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  20. May 4, 2017 #19
    Here is also the edited version (of the 1st dive images) released yesterday (May 3) by NASA JPL :
  21. Jun 13, 2017 #20
    Update: now 9th orbit (of 22) [ring-crossing] of Cassini's Grand Finale journey, coming up in about 3 days 18 hrs (right now June 13, 2017, 9:12am US ET).

    Here is a nice video from the 2nd dive (May 2, 2017):
  22. Sep 2, 2017 #21
    Getting there! Don't forget the Grand finale, a few days from now, Sept 15 [2017].
    Here is a nice review video:
  23. Sep 14, 2017 #22
    The time has come; the time is now (tomorrow 4:55 a.m. PDT (7:55 a.m. EDT and 11:55 GMT)). [PDT=Pacific Daylight Time, EDT=Eastern Daylight Time, GMT = UTC ≅ London winter time]
    Here is a nice informative article (from/posted yesterday 13 Sept., 2017), from space.com:
    The End Is Nigh for Cassini: Saturn Probe Enters Final 48 Hours

    See also:
    Cassini's Saturn Crash 2017: How to Watch Its 'Grand Finale'
    (Found also in the first article ... and more there ...).

    Finally, here is also a prep video:
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  24. Sep 14, 2017 #23
  25. Sep 14, 2017 #24
    Edited with a video from a more reliable channel. The previous video was still valid and ok (anyone interested I can quote ...), but the new one seems more serious.

    Also here is the bottomline quote from the first article cited above:
    "Cassini will begin its descent through the atmosphere at 4:55 a.m. PDT (7:55 a.m. and EDT 1155 GMT). The probe is expected to transmit data about the planet's atmosphere for about 1 to 2 minutes and is expected to be completely destroyed about 1 minute later."
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  26. Sep 14, 2017 #25
    Here is how to watch live:

    Note: read also the description for more links; there will also be live chat there tomorrow (but certainly not our PF-type of audience there! ...).
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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