Cassini-Huygens Mission News

New Cassini Image – Peeking Over Saturn’s Shoulder

January 18, 2017

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Cassini Peeks Over Saturn's Shoulder

This newly released Cassini image shows Saturn in a way no Earth-based telescope ever could. No Earth-based telescope could ever capture a view quite like this. Earth-based views can only show Saturn’s daylit side, from within about 25 degrees of Saturn’s equatorial plane. A spacecraft in orbit, like Cassini, can capture stunning scenes that would […]

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Video Shows Images of Titan’s Surface from Huygens Probe

January 13, 2017

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Cassini Finds Monstrous Ice Cloud in Titan’s South Polar Region

On January 14, 2005, ESA’s Huygens probe made its descent to the surface of Saturn’s hazy moon, Titan. Carried to Saturn by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, Huygens made the most distant landing ever on another world, and the only landing on a body in the outer solar system. This video uses actual images taken by the […]

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Cassini Views Mimas’ Mountain

January 10, 2017

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New Cassini Image of Mimas' Mountain

This newly released Cassini image shows Herschel Crater on Saturn’s Moon Mimas, revealing an indication of the size of the crater’s towering walls and central peak. Named after the icy moon’s discoverer, astronomer William Herschel, the crater stretches 86 miles (139 kilometers) wide — almost one-third of the diameter of Mimas (246 miles or 396 […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Reveals First Images from New Orbit

December 7, 2016

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Cassini Spacecraft Shows Saturn's Northern Hemisphere

New images from NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft from its new orbit of Saturn. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn’s atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn’s northern hemisphere, including the planet’s intriguing hexagon-shaped jet stream. Cassini began its new […]

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Cassini Spacecraft Makes First Ring-Grazing Plunge

December 6, 2016

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NASA's Cassini Makes First Ring-Grazing Plunge

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its first close dive past the outer edges of Saturn’s rings since beginning its penultimate mission phase on November 3o. Cassini crossed through the plane of Saturn’s rings on December 4 at 5:09 a.m. PST (8:09 a.m. EST) at a distance of approximately 57,000 miles (91,000 kilometers) above Saturn’s cloud tops. […]

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New Cassini Image Shows a Tiny Mimas, Huge Saturn Rings

November 28, 2016

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Cassini Sees Tiny Mimas Huge Rings

In this new image from the Cassini Spacecraft, Saturn’s icy moon Mimas is dwarfed by the planet’s enormous rings. Because Mimas (near lower left) appears tiny by comparison, it might seem that the rings would be far more massive, but this is not the case. Scientists think the rings are no more than a few […]

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Cassini Spacecraft Views Saturn’s ‘Watercolor’ Swirl

November 14, 2016

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Cassini Views Saturn's 'Watercolor' Swirls

In this newly released image from the Cassini Spacecraft you can see Saturn’s north polar region, which somewhat resemble the brushwork in a watercolor painting. Each latitudinal band represents air flowing at different speeds, and clouds at different heights, compared to neighboring bands. Where they meet and flow past each other, the bands’ interactions produce […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Measures a Day on Saturn

November 7, 2016

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Cassini Begins Epic Final Year at Saturn

Measuring the exact length of a Saturn day is turning out to be a bigger challenge than originally thought. Over more than a decade in Saturn orbit, Cassini’s instruments have wrestled with confusing measurements to determine the planet’s precise rotation rate. The mission’s final year and unprecedented trajectory will carry Cassini to unexplored regions so […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Captures a New View of Saturn

October 31, 2016

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New Cassini View from Above Saturn

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft views Saturn from above. Saturn appears as a serene globe amid tranquil rings in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. In reality, the planet’s atmosphere is an ever-changing scene of high-speed winds and evolving weather patterns, punctuated by occasional large storms. The rings, consist of countless icy particles, which are continually colliding. […]

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Cassini Views Saturn’s Dynamic Atmosphere

October 24, 2016

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Astronomers Study Saturn's Fluid Dynamics

Astronomers are using Saturn’s clouds to study fluid dynamics, which seeks to understand the motion of gases and liquids. Saturn’s lack of a solid planetary surface (as on Earth, Mars or Venus) means that its atmosphere is free to flow around the planet essentially without obstruction. This is one factor that generates Saturn’s pattern of […]

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Cassini Views a Lonely Moon of Saturn

October 17, 2016

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Cassini Views Saturn's Moon Pandora

This new Cassini image shows Saturn’s moon Pandora in isolation beside Saturn’s kinked and constantly changing F ring. Pandora (near upper right) is 50 miles (81 kilometers) wide. The moon has an elongated, potato-like shape. Two faint ringlets are visible within the Encke Gap, near lower left. The gap is about 202 miles (325 kilometers) […]

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Astronomers Examine Dicyanoacetylene Ice in Titan’s Stratosphere

September 21, 2016

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Scientists Find ‘Impossible’ Cloud on Titan

New research examines the appearance of a cloud of dicyanoacetylene ice in Titan’s stratosphere. The puzzling appearance of an ice cloud seemingly out of thin air has prompted NASA scientists to suggest that a different process than previously thought — possibly similar to one seen over Earth’s poles — could be forming clouds on Saturn’s […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Begins Final Year of Its Voyage

September 16, 2016

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Cassini Begins Final Year at Saturn

After more than 12 years of exploring Saturn, NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft has entered the final year of its voyage. The conclusion of the historic scientific odyssey is planned for September 2017, but not before the spacecraft completes a daring two-part endgame. Beginning on November 30, Cassini’s orbit will send the spacecraft just past the outer […]

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New Cassini Images Show Titan’s Dunes and Other Features

September 7, 2016

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New Images Show Titans Dunes and Other Features

New images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft peer through the haze that surrounds Titan, revealing dunes and other interesting features. This video focuses on Shangri-la, a large, dark area on Titan filled with dunes. The long, linear dunes are thought to be comprised of grains derived from hydrocarbons that have settled out of Titan’s atmosphere. Cassini […]

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New Cassini Image Shows a Glowing Spot on Saturn’s B Ring

August 29, 2016

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New Cassini Image Surge in the Ring

This new image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows an ethereal, glowing spot on Saturn’s B ring. There is nothing particular about that place in the rings that produces the glowing effect — instead, it is an example of an “opposition surge” making that area on the rings appear extra bright. An opposition surge occurs when […]

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Long Divisions – New Cassini Image of Saturn and Mimas

August 8, 2016

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New Cassini Image of Saturn with Mimas

This newly released image form the Cassini Spacecraft shows Saturn and Mimas. The shadow of Saturn on the rings, which stretched across all of the rings earlier in Cassini’s mission, now barely makes it past the Cassini division. The changing length of the shadow marks the passing of the seasons on Saturn. As the planet […]

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New View of Saturn’s A and F Rings

July 25, 2016

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New Cassini View of Saturn's A and F Rings

The Cassini Spacecraft gives us another interesting view of Saturn. Saturn’s A and F rings appear bizarrely warped where they intersect the planet’s limb, whose atmosphere acts here like a very big lens. In its upper regions, Saturn’s atmosphere absorbs some of the light reflected by the rings as it passes through. But absorption is […]

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Cassini Image Shows Saturn’s Rings with Dione and Epimetheus

July 18, 2016

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New Cassini Image Shows Dione and Epimetheus

This newly released Cassini image shows Saturn’s rings with Dione and Epimetheus off in the distance. Saturn’s main rings, along with its and moons, are much brighter than most stars. As a result, much shorter exposure times (10 milliseconds, in this case) are required to produce an image and not saturate the detectors of the […]

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