NASA's Cassini spacecraft finishes last close orbit of Saturn's moon Titan

NASA has released a new image of earth clicked from Saturn's Icy Rings, where it can be seen only as a point of light.

A new image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn.

By destroying the spacecraft, NASA will ensure that any hitchhiking Earth microbes still alive on Cassini will not contaminate the moons for future study. Cassini zoomed past Venus and explored Jupiter before entering into orbit around the gas giant Saturn, the first spacecraft to do so. Cassini-Huygens' input shows Saturn's moon Titan has Earth-like processes like clouds, rain, sand dunes, volcanos, and even rivers and lakes of methane and ethane. They will be looking into the images of Titan's hydrocarbon seas and lakes that spread across the moon's polar region.

More news: Arsenal, Manchester City unchanged ahead of FA Cup semi-final clash

After 20 years in space, Cassini is on the last leg of its mission to study the solar system's second-largest planet.

The mission will conclude with a science-rich plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15 this year.

The flyby also put Cassini on course for its dramatic last act, known as the Grand Finale. Program manager Earl Maize told the website that he has "no doubt" that Titan's gravity will help Cassini shift into the correct final orbit, but that his team is unsure what lies in the gap between Saturn and its rings.

More news: Turkey's Supreme Election Board to assess referendum appeals until noon

However, Cassini did not only make a Titan flyby.

The spacecraft captured the view on April 12, 2017, at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT on April 13).

Technically, Cassini began its Grand Finale orbits at this time, but since the excitement of the finale begins in earnest on April 26th with the first ultra-close dive past Saturn, the mission is celebrating the latter milestone as the formal beginning of the finale. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The spacecraft will be out of contact during the dive and for about a day afterward while it makes science observations from close to the planet.

More news: Bulls early surprise of playoffs after taking 2 at Boston


Popular
  • Vinyl music gives record stores a boost in a digital world

    Vinyl music gives record stores a boost in a digital world

    Brown from Maine-based Bull Moose music hatched the idea for Record Store Day , the annual event to celebrate local record stores. Record Store Day is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store - the staff, the customers, and the artists.
    Most habitable planets likely to be waterworlds

    Most habitable planets likely to be waterworlds

    Astronomers have found a temperate planet a bit bigger and bulkier than Earth, orbiting a small star just 40 light-years away. Thirty-two of the potentially habitable planets found so far are considered super-Earth sized.

    Trump admin. declines to brand China a currency manipulator

    On the US-China trade deficit, Lew said the actual bilateral trade deficit number is not always the issue. The Treasury said it "will be scrutinizing China's trade and currency policies very closely".
  • Swansea stops rot by beating Stoke but still in drop zone

    Swansea stops rot by beating Stoke but still in drop zone

    "It was a game that summed up our last few away performances to be honest". "I thought it was a must-win game and it was absolutely right".

    Thousands attend helicopter Easter egg drop in Killeen

    The Salvation Army of Huntsville/Madison County is partnering with Parkway Place Mall for its first indoor Easter Egg Hunt. They found the Golden Eggs and won gift bags: From left, Colin Bess, 5; Adaline Claire, 10 months.; and Lana Alvarado, 7.
    James White Signs Three-Year Patriots Contract Extension

    James White Signs Three-Year Patriots Contract Extension

    Also Tuesday, the Pats signed Bills running back Mike Gillislee to a two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet. Predictably, there's already a crowd of vocal Patriots fans asking the players to "stick to sports".
  • London attacker had worked in Saudi Arabia teaching English

    London attacker had worked in Saudi Arabia teaching English

    At 52, his age has been highlighted by commentators as unusual, with most Islamist extremists behind similar attacks far younger. The 52-year-old attacker was born in southeastern England and had most recently been living in the central city of Birmingham .

    Italy gets gold star on Libya

    Trump is approaching his 100th day in office, a benchmark often cited to measure a new administration's achievements. The shooter was a USA citizen of Afghan descent.

    Industry pushes ahead with electrics in China

    China has also seen great rise in the sales of SUVs which is why most automakers are also showcasing their gas-guzzling SUVs. This month, Ford Motor Co. said it will sell an all-electric SUV and a plug-in hybrid Mondeo Energi sedan in China.
  • Moto Z2 Play official renders leaked

    Moto Z2 Play official renders leaked

    Since the design of the Moto Z2 Play is nearly identical to the original phone, we would expect it to have a big battery as well. The 3,510 mAh battery is still larger than the batteries included in some of the most popular flagships.
    Unemployment rates fall to record lows in 4 US states

    Unemployment rates fall to record lows in 4 US states

    The United States' jobless rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.7 percent in February to 4.5 percent in March. When the EDD adjusted for those seasonal factors, the number of payroll jobs in the county actually fell by 9,000 in March.

    US Crude Oil Inventories Drop 2.2M Barrels Last Week

    Worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures were up 33 cents by 0900 GMT at $56.56 a barrel, their highest since early March. U.S. production, however, continued to increase with a 0.4% gain on the week to 9.24 million bpd.

CONNECT