NASA Cassini Captures Final Images Of Saturn Moon Dione

Posted: Aug 21 2015, 10:04am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA Cassini Captures Final Images of Saturn Moon Dione
This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward Saturn's icy moon Dione, with giant Saturn and its rings in the background, just prior to the mission's final close approach to the moon on August 17, 2015. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • NASA Cassini Probe captures Images of Saturn’s Moon

The NASA Cassini Probe captured some awesome images of Saturn’s moon. Dione's pictures got taken remarkable clarity and precision.

As NASA’s probe entered the orbit of Dione, Saturn’s icy moon, the landscape looked to be magical. It started to get closer and closer to the surface features of the small frozen microcosm of sorts.

Two of several pics taken of the landscape are almost mystical in their view. The high resolution images are to die for. Cassini was almost at a height of 300 miles above Dione. And this was the fifth time in a row that Dione had been approached by NASA’s probe. Four years ago, it had gotten even closer to the moon.

"I am moved, as I know everyone else is, looking at these exquisite images of Dione's surface and crescent, and knowing that they are the last we will see of this far-off world for a very long time to come," said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado.

"Right down to the last, Cassini has faithfully delivered another extraordinary set of riches. How lucky we have been."

One of the experts has said that he is amazed at the wondrous images. They are the best. And humanity will not get to gaze at such outer space scenery for a long time to come. Cassini seems to have been redeemed via the rich photographs it has sent back from its vantage point.

We are blessed to be able to see something no other species on earth has ever seen. However, the real purpose of this flyby mission was not catching things on camera. Rather it was undertaken in order to study gravitation science. The imagery collection was just a side job and not really a part of the main mission.

"We had just enough time to snap a few images, giving us nice, high resolution looks at the surface," said Tilmann Denk, a Cassini participating scientist at Freie University in Berlin. "We were able to make use of reflected sunlight from Saturn as an additional light source, which revealed details in the shadows of some of the images."

In fact, the gravitational studies interfered in the taking of the snaps. The window of opportunity that was available for taking snapshots was limited. The sunlight that was reflected from Saturn came in pretty handy though. It was an effective tool for taking the pictures in the first place.

The details captured on film are truly amazing to observe. The gravity science that got studied will lend further clues. That is regarding how planetary motion takes place in the solar system. Magnetosphere and plasma science implements got used. And they have clinched the deal for NASA.

It appears to be the case that Dione’s internal structure is crucial. And its physico-chemical changes have a bearing. That is on its surface structure. It is a complex environment the moon possesses.

A couple of close flybys remain for the Cassini Probe. It will get within exploring distance of all the moons of Saturn. One of them is Enceladus. Some of the others include: Daphnis, Telesto, Epimetheus and Aegaeon. As a finale, the Cassini Probe will delve right through the beautiful rings of Saturn. That will be the day!

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