Saturday, August 22, 2015

NASA shares the latest pictures of Dione

Automatic interplanetary station, NASA Cassini gave the highest quality pictures of one of the largest of Saturn's moons Dione, which were made on August 17 during the closest approach to the celestial body.

The space agency also reported the sad news, these are the latest images of Dione, which is connected with the approaching end of the research mission of closest approach to the satellite during the flight of August 17, 2015 amounted to 475 km.

In addition to the camera unit to complete all the work on-board instruments, collecting data, the analysis of which should allow to answer the question:

As the dispensation of the internal structure of Dione and if there is a liquid ocean under the ice? Judging from the photos and data collected during the 4 previous missions, the probability of the existence of liquid water is estimated quite high. In processing the information gathered scientists will take up to several months.

With Dione Cassini AMC will no longer close. The last of the large satellites of the visit will be awarded Enceladus, which is considered one of the most likely of potentially habitable worlds in the solar system. The study will Enceladus station 14 and 28 October and on 19 December.

The most important "meeting" will happen on October 28 spacecraft will be at a minimum for the time away from the surface of a celestial body in the 49 km and will pass directly over erupting kriovulkanami, with luck, will collect and analyze their emissions. In December of this year interplanetary probe will gradually move to a distant orbit around Saturn.

From there, the unit will study more closely some of the smaller satellites and rings, passing through them a few times, it would be a risky maneuver. At the end of 2016 it will start the last mission Cassini at NASA called the Grand Finale and the grand finale.

And to be really grand finale, though very sad - in December 2017 the spacecraft will crash with Saturn, while expected, having to pass the unique information about the structure and properties of the upper atmosphere of the gas giant.

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