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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cassini's ringside view

Saturn by Cassini in 2016     (Public Domain)
As kids, everyone wanted a ringside seat at the circus.  This, however, was nothing compared to Cassini’s ringside view of Saturn.

For the very first time in recorded human history, a spacecraft from Earth has flown between Saturn and its rings.  Although any of the icy particles which comprise these rings could have blown Cassini to smithereens, incredibly none did.

And oh, the photo-ops!  Cassini has shared some “amazing pictures” with the folks back home, coming within just 200 miles of Saturn’s “innermost visible ring.”  These photos also show “the gigantic swirling hurricane at Saturn’s north pole.”

Although nearing the end of its fuel supply, Cassini is hopefully far from done.  The plan is to come “even closer to the planet as well as the innermost D ring,” a feat which “is expected to yield a treasure trove of science.” 


Copyright April 27, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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