Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cassini to probe Enceladus gravity, take pictures

Date:
May 1, 2012
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be flying within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wednesday, 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 Nov. 30, 2010 -- for Cassini's radio science experiment.

Artist concept of Cassini at Saturn.
Credit: NASA/JPL

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be flying within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wednesday, 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 Nov. 30, 2010 -- for Cassini's radio science experiment.

The radio science team is particularly interested in learning how mass is distributed under Enceladus' south polar region, which features jets of water ice, water vapor and organic compounds spraying out of long fractures. A concentration of mass in that region could indicate subsurface liquid water or an intrusion of warmer-than-average ice that might explain the unusual plume activity. Cassini's scientists learn about the moon's internal structure by measuring variations in the gravitational pull of Enceladus against the steady radio link to NASA's Deep Space Network on Earth.

Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer instrument will also be observing the side of Enceladus that always faces away from Saturn to monitor for hot spots. The imaging camera team also plans to take images of the plume to look for variability in the jets.

Cassini will also be flying by Dione at a distance of about 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers), enabling the imaging cameras to create several mosaic images of the icy moon, and the composite infrared spectrometer to monitor heat emission.

More information about the flyby is available at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/flybys/enceladus20120502/ . The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

More information about the Cassini-Huygens mission is at: http://www.nasa.gov/cassiniandhttp://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 to probe Enceladus gravity, take pictures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501111111.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2012, May 1). Cassini to probe Enceladus gravity, take pictures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501111111.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Cassini to probe Enceladus gravity, take pictures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501111111.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
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:
from the past week

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