Nasa's Cassini completes last flyby of Saturn's moon Titan

Nasa's Cassini completes last flyby of Saturn's moon Titan

Nasa's Cassini completes last flyby of Saturn's moon Titan

This lowers the altitude of its flight over the planet so that the spacecraft goes too deep into Saturn's atmosphere to survive, because friction with the atmosphere will cause Cassini to burn up.

Cassini project Manager Earl maize at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California says that "Cassini has been in a long term relationship with Titan, with a new rendezvous almost every month for more than a decade".

14-hour timelapse of Saturn's moon Enceladus as observed by Cassini.

Just a few days before it is due to plummet into the fiery atmosphere of Saturn on its self-destruct mission, Cassini has completed its final flyby of the moon Titan. Many of these discoveries were made possible by the Huygens probe, which Cassini carried from Earth and released to descend onto the planet in 2005.

The giant planet's north pole hosts odd, hexagon-shaped jet streams found nowhere else in the solar system.

In the mission Grand Finale, the fateful spacecraft dive is the final beat, 22 weekly dives through the gap within Saturn and its rings. In some parts of the rings, the tiny particles that make them up clump together while in other parts, the particles float alone in space.

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The probe's composite infrared spectrometer revealed the small moon to have a porous surface.

Cassini is ending its 13-year tour of the Saturn system with an intentional plunge into the planet to ensure Saturn's moons - in particular Enceladus, with its subsurface ocean and signs of hydrothermal activity - remain pristine for future exploration, Dyches said.

During those hundreds of passes, Cassini's discovered liquid seas and lakes made of liquid methane.

Prepared for all contingencies, the spacecraft is equipped with two computers, two star scanners, two Sun sensors, two gyroscopes, and two radios.

The images and data that Cassini gathered during its closest approach to Titan on Monday will be sent back to Earth on Tuesday.

No photos will be taken during Cassini's final plunge through Saturn's atmosphere.

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