Two NASA spacecrafts, one studying systems of Saturn, another observing Mercury, at the same time will arrive on the taken-away place to photograph Earth, on July 19 and 20. The Cassini spacecraft will take the picture from system between 5:27 and 5:42 evenings of EDT (2:27 and 2:42 PDT or 21:27 and 21:47 UTC) on Friday, July 19. The Cassini spacecraft will be at distance about 900 million kilometers from Earth. NASA urges the population to pose “in style of a wave” in the direction of Saturn during this portrait shooting and then shares the photos on the Internet. Earth photos with the Cassini spacecraft, will be part of more extensive mosaic of systems of Saturn. Processing of images of Earth, as expected, will take some days, and processing of a full mosaic of system of Saturn can take some weeks.
Astronomers from Spain submitted the description of a huge storm on Saturn (known as the Big White Spot) 2010. To find out the phenomenon reasons, scientists analyzed the data obtained by the spacecraft Cassini. Researchers established that the speed of streams in an upper atmosphere of Saturn reached 570 kilometers per hour or about 160 meters per second. For comparison, the strongest hurricanes on Earth differs the speed of a wind in 140 meters per second and thus completely destroyed the majority got to a zone of disaster of constructions. The storm on Saturn led to emergence of the spot seen even in not the most perfect telescopes from Earth.
Rings of Saturn represent system of flat concentric educations from ice and a dust, settling down in the equatorial plane of Saturn. The plane of the appeal of system of rings coincides with the plane of the equator of Saturn. The size of particles of a material in rings – from micrometers to centimeters and then tens meters. Structure of the main rings: water ice (about 99 %) with impurity of a silicate dust. Thickness of rings is extremely small in comparison with their width (from 7 to 80 thousand kilometers over the equator of Saturn) and makes from one kilometer to ten meters. Lump of a material in system of rings is estimated at 3×1019 kilograms.
The big hurricane on a surface of Saturn, similar to a rose bud, captured the NASA Cassini spacecraft. Scales of the hurricane impress: its diameter makes 2 thousand km that in 20 times more, than the biggest hurricane on Earth. Cassini allowed researchers to make out for the first time a hurricane on Saturn in detail. Wind speed in the hurricane center as it became clear, reaches 150 m/second. Unlike terrestrial storm, which move on a planet, the hurricane on Saturn isn’t mobile and is on its North Pole. On Earth hurricanes, as a rule, drift to the north, because of the turbulences of a wind caused by movement of a planet.
Rings of Saturn are continuously bombarded by rocks in space. Cassini spacecraft being in an orbit of Saturn since 2004, helped scientists to observe a picture of bombing of Saturn rings fragments of space rocks. Collision of these fragments with rings of Saturn lifts big clubs of a space dust and leaves traces in the form of hyphens on rings. It is well visible on the example of the photo of 2004, when the Cassini chambers recorded collision of rocks with rings of Saturn. Orbit of Saturn around the Sun is equivalent to about 30 terrestrial years. Approximately for the 15th year of this cycle, the night of Saturn becomes almost equal to day of Saturn. Just such period fell on 2009 that helped scientists to study in more detail better that happens to rings of Saturn.
Last Saturday on March 9, the Cassini (Cassini is a NASAs’ robotic spacecraft sent to the Saturn planet) was most near to the Saturn moon Rhea , for the first time. During this close passing the Cassini did the image of the Rhea. The purpose of flyby was to observe the internal structure of the Rhea. This probe was done by measuring the gravitation pull of Rhea. The results of probe will help the scientists to find out if the Rhea, which has 950 mile wide, is homogeneous, or it is separated into core layers of mental. The distance of Cassini from the Saturn moon Rhea was 997 kilometers, and from this distance it was possible to capture the terrain of the Moon. The Rhea is the second largest moons of Saturn among the 62 moons. It has a surface with a lot of ice and craters. In the composing of Rhea is including rocks and water ice. The researchers also searched the dust flying off the moon, which will determine the micrometeorites’ impacts rate on the surface of the Rhea.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has delivered view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn’s shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. This special, very-high-phase viewing geometry lets scientists study ring and atmosphere phenomena not easily seen at a lower phase. Since images like this can only be taken while the sun is behind the planet, this beautiful view is all the more precious for its rarity. The last time Cassini captured a view like this was in Sept. 2006, when it captured a mosaic processed to look like natural color.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn’s tiny moon Methone as part of a trajectory that will take it on a close flyby of another of Saturn’s moons, Titan. The Titan flyby will put the spacecraft in an orbit around Saturn that is inclined, or tilted, relative to the plane of the planet’s equator. The flyby of Methone took place on May 20 at a distance of about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers).
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will be flying within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of Saturn’s moon Enceladus (Enceladus is the sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn, it was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel) on May 2, aiming primarily to learn more about the moon’s internal structure. The flyby is the third part of a trilogy of flybys, the other two took place on April 28, 2010, and November 30, 2010, for Cassini’s radio science experiment.