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Author Topic: Farewell, Cassini  (Read 848 times)

Telecaster

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Farewell, Cassini
« on: September 14, 2017, 07:23:35 PM »

Now nearly out of fuel, the Cassini probe orbiting Saturn since late 2004 will enter that planet's atmosphere at around 7:54 US EDT tomorrow morning and descend into the clouds with its non-photographic sensing instruments transmitting back to us in real time. (Note that Saturn is ~70 light minutes away from us.) After a minute or two we'll lose contact with it, and a short time afterwards Cassini will vaporize.

Here's one of the last images Cassini took of Saturn, from early this week:



Cassini has collected so much data during its time that it'll take years, likely decades, to go through all of it.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/main/index.html

-Dave-
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BradSmith

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 09:48:40 PM »

Dave,
thanks very much for reminding us and including the link.  The images in the linked book were exquisite.
Brad
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 09:50:59 PM »

Here's a link to a NYT article with many superb images of the Saturn system by Cassini.  Also, at the very bottom of the article, an excellent video.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/14/science/cassini-saturn-images.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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Telecaster

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 01:47:14 AM »

I should note that the image above is, like nearly all of Cassini's wide views, a stitched pano. And an HDR one at that. You can download 8-bit versions of the individual pics if you want to take a crack at it yourself. You'll need to layer the RGB-filtered b&w components into color too. (The Cassini team has exclusive access to the 12-bit RAWs for around a year, after which they're made public.)

https://saturn-archive.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/

-Dave-
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kers

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2017, 05:58:37 AM »

i do not think  will be ever in the position to shoot Saturnus with backlight... amazing!
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Pieter Kers
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 10:45:05 AM »

Arguably some of the best landscape photography in human history.  All done with 1024X1024 monochrome imagers.
(and some pretty hi-spec lenses)  :)

The Imaging Science Subsystem consists of two cameras, a Wide Angle Camera (ISS-WAC) and a Narrow Angle Camera (ISS-NAC). Both cameras produce images 1024 by 1024 pixels in size. Each camera is equipped with a pair of filter wheels that give the cameras excellent color vision: 23 different filters for the Narrow Angle and 17 for the Wide Angle Camera, spanning wavelengths of light from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared. Because the filters are on two overlapping filter wheels, filters can be combined to yield a great many more effective filter combinations (about 100 for the NAC and about 50 for the WAC).

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/very-high-resolution-cassini-photos.108525/
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kikashi

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 02:42:41 PM »

For a slightly different take, look here.

Jeremy
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mcbroomf

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 04:04:34 PM »

I'm about 15 mins into this video ...

NASA Mission Control Live: Cassini’s Finale at Saturn
"Friday, Sept. 15, 7-8:30 a.m. EDT: Cassini mission's "Grand Finale." Live commentary. See inside mission control as we awaited the FINAL signal and science data from our Cassini spacecraft. After two decades in space, NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn is at the end of its remarkable journey of exploration."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=862&v=V5Ho30EMRm4
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Mike Broomfield
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Telecaster

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2017, 04:30:12 PM »

For a slightly different take, look here.

;D

There were in fact some post-primary-mission (ended in 2009) plans for Cassini involving long journeys, either back to Jupiter or out to Uranus and/or Neptune. But in the end the planners opted to stay at Saturn due to all the unanswered questions the primary mission had raised. IMO the close range high-res images of the ring system from the "Grand Finalé" fly-throughs of the past weeks alone justify this decision.

Check out the moonlet acting kinda like a propeller in this closeup:



-Dave-
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 04:38:07 PM by Telecaster »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2017, 05:19:34 PM »

Here's a good article on how it all unfolded. Politics nearly killed the whole thing several times.

https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-ok-lets-do-it-an-oral-history-of-how-na/f-b3e76366f0%2Flatimes.com

Just imagine if we could do one of these missions every year.  At $4B each, cheap, like borsht.
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Telecaster

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Re: Farewell, Cassini
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2017, 05:13:01 PM »

NASA has made a PDF book, The Saturn System Through The Eyes Of Cassini. Available here:

https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/the-saturn-system.html

-Dave-
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