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 31, 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 31, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. 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:
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