Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Saturn News .




SATURN DAILY
Cassini to Make Last Close Flyby of Saturn Moon Dione
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 18, 2015


A view of Saturn's moon Dione captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during a close flyby on June 16, 2015. The diagonal line near upper left is the rings of Saturn, in the distance. Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. For a larger version of this image please go here.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft will zip past Saturn's moon Dione on Monday, Aug. 17 - the final close flyby of this icy satellite during the spacecraft's long mission.

Cassini's closest approach, within 295 miles (474 kilometers) of Dione's surface, will occur at 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT). Mission controllers expect fresh images to begin arriving on Earth within a couple of days following the encounter.

Cassini scientists have a bevy of investigations planned for Dione. Gravity-science data from the flyby will improve scientists' knowledge of the moon's internal structure and allow comparisons to Saturn's other moons. Cassini has performed this sort of gravity science investigation with only a handful of Saturn's 62 known moons.

During the flyby, Cassini's cameras and spectrometers will get a high-resolution peek at Dione's north pole at a resolution of only a few feet (or meters). In addition, Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer instrument will map areas on the icy moon that have unusual thermal anomalies - those regions are especially good at trapping heat. Meanwhile, the mission's Cosmic Dust Analyzer continues its search for dust particles emitted from Dione.

This flyby will be the fifth targeted encounter with Dione of Cassini's tour at Saturn. Targeted encounters require maneuvers to precisely steer the spacecraft toward a desired path above a moon. The spacecraft executed a 12-second burn using its thrusters on Aug. 9, which fine-tuned the trajectory to enable the upcoming encounter.

Cassini's closest-ever flyby of Dione was in Dec. 2011, at a distance of 60 miles (100 kilometers). Those previous close Cassini flybys yielded high-resolution views of the bright, wispy terrain on Dione first seen during the Voyager mission. Cassini's sharp views revealed the bright features to be a system of braided canyons with bright walls. Scientists also have been eager to find out if Dione has geologic activity, like Saturn's geyser-spouting moon Enceladus, but at a much lower level.

"Dione has been an enigma, giving hints of active geologic processes, including a transient atmosphere and evidence of ice volcanoes. But we've never found the smoking gun. The fifth flyby of Dione will be our last chance," said Bonnie Buratti, a Cassini science team member at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. After a series of close moon flybys in late 2015, the spacecraft will depart Saturn's equatorial plane - where moon flybys occur most frequently - to begin a year-long setup of the mission's daring final year. For its grand finale, Cassini will repeatedly dive through the space between Saturn and its rings.

"This will be our last chance to see Dione up close for many years to come," said Scott Edgington, Cassini mission deputy project scientist at JPL. "Cassini has provided insights into this icy moon's mysteries, along with a rich data set and a host of new questions for scientists to ponder."


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Saturn at NASA
Explore The Ring World of Saturn and her moons
Jupiter and its Moons
The million outer planets of a star called Sol
News Flash at Mercury






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SATURN DAILY
Cassini to Make Last Close Flyby of Saturn Moon Dione
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 14, 2015
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will zip past Saturn's moon Dione on Monday, Aug. 17 - the final close flyby of this icy satellite during the spacecraft's long mission. Cassini's closest approach, within 295 miles (474 kilometers) of Dione's surface, will occur at 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT). Mission controllers expect fresh images to begin arriving on Earth within a couple of days following ... read more


SATURN DAILY
One Decade after Launch, Mars Orbiter Still Going Strong

One Decade after Launch, Mars Orbiter Still Going Strong

Mars Rovers and the Last Moonwalker to Invade Poland in September

Salt flat indicates some of the last vestiges of surface water on Mars

SATURN DAILY
From a million miles away, NASA camera shows moon crossing face of Earth

Russia to conduct simulated flight program to Moon, Mars over 4 years

NASA Could Return Humans to the Moon by 2021

Smithsonian embraces crowdfunding to preserve lunar spacesuit

SATURN DAILY
Cassini to Make Last Close Flyby of Saturn Moon Dione

Saturn's rings in a supercomputer

Unusual Red Arcs Spotted on Icy Saturn Moon

'Bathtub Rings' Suggest Titan's Dynamic Seas

SATURN DAILY
China's "sky eyes" help protect world heritage Angkor Wat

China's space exploration potential has US chasing its own tail

China to deploy space-air-ground sensors for environment protection

Chinese earth station is for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes

SATURN DAILY
Scientists study nitrogen provision for Pluto's atmosphere

Flowing nitrogen ice glaciers seen on Pluto

New Horizons 'Captures' Two of Pluto's Smaller Moons

New Horizons Finds Second Mountain Range in Pluto's 'Heart'

SATURN DAILY
Gemini-discovered world is most like Jupiter

Astronomers discover 'young Jupiter' exoplanet

Methane, water enshroud nearby Jupiter-like exoplanet

Tenth transiting 'Tatooine'

SATURN DAILY
Volcanic bacteria take minimalist approach to survival

Researchers Use 'Seafloor Gardens' to Switch on Light Bulb

Vatican sceptical about close encounters of the third kind

NASA researchers find "frozen" recipe for extraterrestrial vitamin

SATURN DAILY
Sentinels catch river traffic jam

China to launch Jilin-1 satellite in October

Dartmouth-NASA collaboration reveals new X-ray actions

First applications from Sentinel-2A




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.