Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cassini Flies By Saturn's Moon Titan, Sees More Craters

Date:
May 4, 2006
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Saturn's moon Titan continued to surprise scientists during a flyby that took Cassini into regions previously unexplored by radar. Two very noticeable circular features, possible impact craters or calderas, appear in the latest radar images taken during the flyby on April 30, 2006.

This circular feature might be an impact crater or a cryovolcanic caldera.
Credit: Image credit: NASA/JPL

Saturn's moon Titan continued to surprise scientists during a flyby that took Cassini into regions previously unexplored by radar. Two very noticeable circular features, possible impact craters or calderas, appear in the latest radar images taken during the flyby on April 30, 2006.

The flyby targeted Xanadu, one of the most prominent features on Titan, visible even from telescopes on Earth. The origin of Xanadu is still unknown, but the radar images reveal details previously unseen, such as numerous curvy features that may indicate fluid flows. Scientists speculate that two prominent circular features are probably impact craters but they don't rule out the possibility that they might be calderas or volcanoes. Sand dunes, discovered in previous flybys, continue to crisscross Titan's surface.

Communication from the spacecraft was temporarily interrupted for nearly five hours during the data playback following the flyby. The most important science data from the flyby were protected by a contingency plan put in place in advance of the flyby. The flight team believes the outage was likely due to a galactic cosmic-ray hit on a power switch in the spacecraft communications subsystem. The anomaly resulted in the loss of some science data. However, the spacecraft is now performing normally.

This was the 14th Titan flyby for Cassini, with nine more remaining this year. The next will be May 20, 2006. During the nominal four-year mission Cassini will perform 45 Titan flybys.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

For images and more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Cassini Flies By Saturn's Moon Titan, Sees More Craters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060504081138.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2006, May 4). Cassini Flies By Saturn's Moon Titan, Sees More Craters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060504081138.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Cassini Flies By Saturn's Moon Titan, Sees More Craters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060504081138.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins