Cassini Sends First Saturn Images Of Its Historic Ring Dive

Posted: Apr 28 2017, 5:20am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Cassini Sends First Saturn Images of its Historic Ring Dive
This unprocessed image shows features in Saturn's atmosphere from closer than ever before. The view was captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.
  • Cassini Captures Closest Images of Saturn's Atmosphere

Some of the beautiful pictures of the Cassini spacecraft diving into the rings of Saturn are finally here.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dove headfirst through Saturn’s rings and took some poignant photos of the atmosphere of Saturn. The images show various structures and especially a dark swirling storm.

This is actually a huge hurricane. The spacecraft came within 1900 miles of Saturn’s clouds. Also it approached within 200 miles of the rings’ innermost visible edge.

The Cassini spacecraft’s antennae served as a protective barrier of sorts against the flotsam and jetsam that constituted the debris of Saturn’s atmosphere.

The Cassini spacecraft’s photos signify mankind’s closest look at Saturn. Later on it was confirmed that the giant hurricane was actually a dark storm at its polar vortex.

The Cassini spacecraft flew through the rings at 77,000 mph. Small particles in space could have proven to be a hazard to the spacecraft’s delicate instruments of detection at this point.

All of Cassini’s images are available online for planetary enthusiasts who may peruse them at leisure and with pleasure. Up until now, no spacecraft has gotten this close to Saturn’s atmosphere.

Saturn’s rings when seen in an up, close and personal manner are an altogether different sight from how they look like from the telescopes on this planet.

The Cassini spacecraft went through the rings in a jiffy and emerged out at the other end safe and sound. It was a miracle of space engineering but there you have it. Saturn’s atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and the pressure at its cloud tops is the same as the pressure at sea level on the earth.

Hexagonal storms are brewing at its north pole. Some of the winds of Saturn are the strongest in the entire solar system. NASA’s Voyager mission passed close to Saturn in 1980 and 1981.

Many more enigmatic facts will emerge about Saturn in the future. The Cassini is all set to undergo 21 more dives soon. Later on as a part of its grand finale, it will burn up into cinders by crashing into the planet. This is being done on purpose. Many unexplored parts of Saturn will be revealed in the photos sent by the Cassini spacecraft.

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