With the last Titan flyby on October 12, Cassini came back to an orbit that's nearly in the equatorial plane, and immediately rewarded us with some fine views of several of the icy moons. Here are a bunch of images of those moons.
Each Titan flyby is not a fork in the road, but rather a Los Angeles style cloverleaf in terms of the dizzying number of possible destinations. So how did our current and future plans for the path of the Cassini spacecraft come to be? That's the question Dave Seal put to me since that's my job -- I am a tour designer.
There was a press release from the Cassini mission today about a pile of papers (14 of them!) being published in the journal Icarus about Saturn's icy moons. I haven't had time to read more than the overview article yet, but I wanted to come up with a graphic for an overview of Saturn's moons, and I couldn't resist delving into the massive database of Cassini images to produce something new
What should arrive in my inbox today but a press release from the Cassini RPWS and magnetometer teams saying, in part, "the little moon Enceladus is weighing down giant Saturn's magnetic field so much that the field is rotating slower than the planet."
I received this report on the Tuesday afternoon special session on volcanism and tectonism on Saturn's satellites from Anne Verbiscer, an astronomer from the University of Virginia who I first met at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in 2005.
There's a new image product released from the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) on Cassini, an instrument that is capable of measuring the temperatures on the extremely cold surfaces of Saturn's moons and rings.
The IAU has just approved new names for 35 craters, dorsa, fossae, and sulci on the surface of Enceladus, based upon Cassini's high-resolution mapping of the little moon. What are dorsa, fossae, and sulci, you might ask?
I said earlier I was going to cover the poster sessions next, and there are some cool things that I want to write about, but I thought I'd better get to something a bit more topical a bit sooner: Europa and the other Galilean satellites, and when (if!?) we'll be exploring them again.