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Planetary RadioJuly 19, 2017

Emily Lakdawalla on the Last Orbits of Cassini

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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla (2017, alternate)
Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society

The Cassini Mission has less than two months to go before it ends with a spectacular plunge into the beautiful ringed world. Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a guide to the last orbits by the historic spacecraft. Bill Nye provides examples from his new book of how we will benefit from space applications and the way nerds solve problems. His impressions may not be ready for prime time, but Bruce Betts’ guide to the night sky and Random Space Facts are always entertaining.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are the brand new Chop Shop-designed Planetary Radio t-shirt, cheap but effective Bill Nye solar eclipse glasses, and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

By mass, what is the fourth most common element in the sun, after hydrogen, helium and oxygen?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, July 26th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What other kind of ice appears to form snow-capped peaks on some of the mountains of Pluto?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Who submitted the name “Sojourner Truth” for the Mars Pathfinder rover, named in a Planetary Society-led contest?


The Sojourner Mars rover was named by 12-year-old Valerie Ambroise.

Listen more: Cassini, mission status, Planetary Radio, Saturn, Bill Nye

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