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Cassini: The dying of the light

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2017

Cassini is no more. At 10:31 according to its own clock, its thrusters could no longer hold its radio antenna pointed at Earth, and it turned away. A minute later, it vaporized in Saturn’s atmosphere. Its atoms are part of Saturn now.

And then there was one

Jason Davis • September 11, 2017

The end of the Cassini mission is a harbinger for a looming gap in outer planets exploration missions.

What to expect during Cassini's final hours

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2017

A timeline of what to expect from the great mission during its final hours.

A guide to Cassini's remaining orbits

Emily Lakdawalla • July 05, 2017

Sadly, the Cassini mission ends soon. We're halfway through the "Grand Finale" orbits. Only eleven and a half orbits remain until Cassini meets its fate on September 15. Here's a look at the great mission's final science orbits.

Saturn's small satellites, to scale

Emily Lakdawalla • May 17, 2017

Emily shares another of her popular size comparisons of solar system bodies, taking advantage of Cassini's recent views of Saturn's tiniest moons.

Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Portrait of Saturn

Ian Regan • May 16, 2017

Amateur image processor Ian Regan shares a stunning mosaic of Saturn in all its ringed glory.

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science, Part 2

Heather Hunter • May 12, 2017

Heather Hunter brings us the next installment in her series on radio detection and ranging.

Saturn and Titan in the Milky Way

Emily Lakdawalla • May 08, 2017

An unusual photo of Saturn by astrophotographer Damian Peach shows the planet and its largest moon nestled among the star-filled lane of the Milky Way.

Trusty Cassini survives first dive between Saturn and its rings

Emily Lakdawalla • April 28, 2017

Cheers erupted in the Von Karman auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory early Thursday morning as a squiggly green line on a graph developed a crisp, tall peak, signifying that the Cassini spacecraft was calling home after surviving its first plunge between Saturn and its ring system.

This weekend, it's the beginning of the end for Cassini

Jason Davis • April 19, 2017

NASA's long-lived Cassini spacecraft is about to buzz Titan for the final time, putting it on course for a spectacular mission finale that concludes in September.

Another smoking gun in the search for life in Enceladus’ ocean

Franck Marchis • April 13, 2017

NASA's Cassini spacecraft sniffed out molecular hydrogen spewing from Enceladus' subsurface ocean. The discovery means Saturn's moon has all the basic ingredients needed to support life.

Cassini, with only a half-year to go at Saturn, just keeps dropping awesome images

Jason Davis • March 09, 2017

Our latest roundup of Cassini goodies from Saturn includes Pan, a ravioli-shaped moon that orbits inside the planet's ring system.

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science: An Intro

Heather Hunter • February 24, 2017

Heather Hunter explains how radar works and what it's used for on Earth and beyond.

Amazing photos of tiny moons as Cassini orbits among the rings

Emily Lakdawalla • January 19, 2017

Behold: Daphnis, the tiny, 8-kilometer moon that orbits within a ring gap, gently tugging on the edges of the gap to create delicate scallops.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

Serene Saturn (or the “Glutton for Punishment” mosaic)

Ian Regan • November 08, 2016

A week ago Saturday I decided -- against my better judgment -- to tackle this monster of a mosaic. I call it the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic.

What's up in the solar system, November 2016 edition: Cassini takes a leap, ExoMars starts science, Long March 5 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2016

Cassini is going to make a major change to its orbit, getting much close to Saturn, setting up 20 "F-ring" orbits. ExoMars will get two science orbits before beginning aerobraking. Long March 5 will have its first launch, while many Earth-observing missions, including Himawari-9 and GOES-R, will go up. But Juno science is on hold.

What's up in the solar system, October 2016 edition: ExoMars arrives!

Emily Lakdawalla • October 04, 2016

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrives on October 19, and it will deliver the Schiaparelli lander to its brief life on the Martian surface. Juno's headed into its science orbit, MOM has released science data, and New Horizons will finally finish downlinking Pluto flyby data.

One year remains in the Cassini mission

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2016

Cassini ends a year from today, which is sad. But the final year of the mission is going to be awesome.

Cassini's camera views of Titan's polar lakes in summer, processed into pseudocolor

Emily Lakdawalla • September 12, 2016

Titan's north polar lakes are well-lit by summer sun in these recent Cassini images. Image processing enthusiast Ian Regan shares his recipe for processing the longer-wavelength Titan images into visually pleasing "pseudocolor."

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