Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Cassini

  • Insider Fact Check: Is NASA hiring someone to protect Earth from aliens?

    Jason RhianAugust 2nd, 2017

    It never fails: Let the news cycle get a little slow and someone decides to get creative with the facts. Such was the case on Wednesday, Aug. 1, when supposedly credible and professional sites such as USA Today and Newsweek dropped the ball and resorted to good ole fashioned clickbait-ing. It was a sign of the times that highlighted the current state of journalism in the U.S.

  • As dusk sets on NASA’s Cassini mission, Saturn still providing surprises

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 28th, 2017

    After twenty years in space and thirteen years directly observing Saturn and its system of hypnotic rings and moons, the Cassini spacecraft is continuing to tease out tantalizing data from the mysterious ringed beauty about every six days.

  • Cassini images Enceladus’ south polar jets

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 20th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter has captured a distant view of the mysterious jets emanating from the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, a world that likely harbors a subsurface ocean. The jets are believed to be liquid water being vented from the ocean underneath the moon's icy crust.

  • Cassini prepares for sixth ring-grazing orbit

    Paul KnightlyMay 25th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft is currently completing its fifth ring-grazing orbit of Saturn as it conducts its Grand Finale nearing the end of its mission. It will reach its orbital apoapsis on May 25 at 08:50 UTC (4:50 a.m. EDT), at which point its sixth ring-grazing orbit will begin. The sixth ring crossing of the Grand Finale will occur on May 28 at 14:22 UTC (10:22 a.m. EDT).

  • Cassini image shows Saturn heading toward solstice

    Laurel KornfeldMay 18th, 2017

    A visible-light image of Saturn and one side of its rings taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on February 3, 2017, shows the planet's shrinking shadow on the rings as it approaches its May 2017 solstice.

  • The Big Empty: Cassini finds virtually no particles between Saturn and its rings

    Ocean McIntyreMay 14th, 2017

    Based on data collected on the first of the Cassini spacecraft's planned 22 "Grand Finale" orbits, the area between the cloud tops of Saturn and the inner-most ring seems to be mostly dust-free. Instead of the heavy distribution of dust particles Cassini had detected when it made its ring grazing orbits in late 2016, the spacecraft instead revealed a “big empty."

  • Gap between Saturn and innermost ring surprisingly free of dust

    Laurel KornfeldMay 3rd, 2017

    Analysis of data returned by NASA's Cassini spacecraft from its first Grand Finale dive between Saturn and its rings has surprised scientists by revealing the region to be nearly dust free.

  • Cassini returns images from first dive between Saturn and its rings

    Laurel KornfeldApril 28th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has successfully completed the first of its 22 Grand Finale dives between Saturn and its rings, sending back images and data after more than 20 hours of being out of contact with Earth.

  • Titan flyby launches Cassini into Grande Finale

    Laurel KornfeldApril 25th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter conducted its last and closest flyby of Saturn's large moon Titan in the early morning hours of April 22, 2017, putting it on course for the mission's Grand Finale of 22 orbits between the innermost rings and the giant planet.

  • Cassini to conduct last, closest flyby of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldApril 21st, 2017

    As NASA's Cassini spacecraft moves toward its Grand Finale, it will conduct its final and closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 22, 2017. This last visit is a targeted flyby, meaning Cassini will use either its rocket engine or thrusters to alter its course.

  • Ocean worlds Enceladus and Europa could be habitable for microbial life

    Laurel KornfeldApril 14th, 2017

    New data obtained by NASA's Cassini mission and by the Hubble Space Telescope indicate Saturn's moon Enceladus and Jupiter's moon Europa, both referred to as ocean worlds because they harbor subsurface oceans, could be habitable for microbial life.

  • NASA Video: Saturn moon Enceladus has ingredients for life

    Derek RichardsonApril 13th, 2017

    Using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn and the Hubble Space Telescope around Earth, scientists have determined that the ringed planet's moon Enceladus, which has a global ocean under its icy surface, has a source of chemical energy – an ingredient for life.

  • Cassini prepares for ‘grand finale’

    Paul KnightlyApril 8th, 2017

    On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will conduct the first in a series of 22 dives between Saturn's atmosphere and the gas giant's rings as a part of the mission's “grand finale”. It will conclude a mission that has spent almost 13 years exploring the Saturnian system.

  • Nitrogen in Titan’s lakes may cause them to fizz

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 18th, 2017

    The hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may contain nitrogen that, at times, causes them to bubble and fizz, according to a NASA study that simulated conditions on Titan's surface.

  • Cassini images Saturn’s polar hexagon

    Paul KnightlyMarch 1st, 2017

    On Dec. 2, 2016, NASA's Cassini spacecraft imaged Saturn's north polar region. Prominently centered around the north pole is the famous hexagonal cloud that is formed as the result of jet stream interactions in Saturn's atmosphere. A similar hexagon does not exist at Saturn's south pole.