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Exploring Saturn With Cassini

Saturn within its rings

Air Date: 02/23/2016
Run Time: 32:24

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  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Topics: Earth observing missions, Cassini, Tethys, Saturn's moons, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), Saturn, commercial spaceflight, SLS, Space Policy, mission status, Planetary Radio, Planetary Society Political Advocacy, FY2017 NASA Budget, Bill Nye

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Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker returns with the latest discoveries at the beautiful ringed planet, its moons and its rings. Emily Lakdawalla has assembled a crazy animation of distant Earth from a long dormant but just reawakened space camera. Bill Nye the Science Guy provides ample evidence that space has become a marketplace. A family of accomplished astronomers provides the answer to this week’s space trivia contest in our What’s Up segment, along with a new opportunity to win OK Go swag.

Saturn from Cassini

NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute / Processed and assembled by Kevin M. Gill

Saturn from Cassini
Saturn from Cassini in 2004
Red arcs on Tethys

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI

Red arcs on Tethys
Mysterious red streaks on Saturn’s moon Tethys imaged by the Cassini spacecraft.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prize is an OK Go t-shirt signed by band members Damian Kulash and Tim Nordwind, along with a Planetary Radio t-shirt signed by...?.

This week's question:

In millions of kilometers, how far from the Sun is Mercury at its closest and farthest points in its orbit?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, March 1st at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the peak wavelength of the Sun’s electromagnetic radiation to the nearest 100 nanometers?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What was famous astronomer Herschel’s first and middle names?


We’d have accepted Friedrich Wilhelm, Frederick William, Caroline Lucretia, or John Frederick William Herschel!


No trivia contest spoilers please!

sepiae: 02/23/2016 11:16 CST

Brilliant! Looking forward to the evening: the head of my favourite mission to the system of my 2nd favourite planet that involved spying out my favourite moon!

ddunn1966: 02/23/2016 05:27 CST

I'm glad you realized that February 30th (as stated in the Radio broadcast) = March 1st for the deadline for this week's contest

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