金沙官网手机网址:Final pictures from Cassini as probe smashes into Saturn

时间:2019-03-08 12:08:01166网络整理admin

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Jason Major By Leah Crane Cassini is dead; long live Cassini. On the evening of 14 September, the Cassini spacecraft sent back its final images of the Saturn system. Early this morning, it sank into the top of the giant planet’s atmosphere and melted. It survived about 30 seconds longer than scientists expected. The epic mission’s legacy will live on in the thousands of pictures it has taken and the data that will fuel new scientific results for decades to come. “These final images are sort of like taking a last look around your house or apartment just before you move out,” said Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “You walk around the downstairs, as you go upstairs, you run your fingers along the banister, you look at your old room and memories across the years come flooding back.” “And in the same way, Cassini is taking a last look around the Saturn system, Cassini’s home for the last 13 years,” she said. “With those pictures come heartwarming memories.” Cassini’s final pictures included a series showing the icy moon Enceladus setting behind Saturn. Before the mission, this tiny world was thought to be frozen solid, but Cassini revealed that it has a subsurface ocean that may be ripe for life. Here is Enceladus setting, with all the animation frames aligned on Enceladus. pic.twitter.com/1JfJ0FWino — Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) September 15, 2017 The doomed spacecraft also took close-up pictures of Saturn’s rings, including one where it peeks back at its starting point: Earth. On the tiny white dot peering through the rings (pictured below), the entire mission team sat waiting to hear that their spacecraft successfully completed its mission-ending dive. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute As it started the plunge toward its demise, Cassini sent back a final picture of Saturn (below), the closest image we’ve ever had of the planet. Then, its camera turned off as it fell into the atmosphere and disintegrated, joining the swirl of molecules in Saturn’s skies. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Jason Major More on these topics: