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Topic: Rhea

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft continues to provide insightful information about Dwarf Planet Ceres

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Mysteries and insights about Ceres are being discussed this week at the European Planetary Science Conference in Nantes, France. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is providing scientists with tantalizing views and other data about the intriguing dwarf planet that they continue to analyze.

“Ceres continues to amaze, yet puzzle us, as we examine our multitude of images, spectra and now energetic particle bursts,” said Chris Russell, Dawn principal investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles.

This view, made using images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, is a color-coded topographic map of Occator crater on Ceres. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This view, made using images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, is a color-coded topographic map of Occator crater on Ceres. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft’s new orbit to bring it closer to Saturn’s moons

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A dual view of Saturn’s icy moon Rhea marks the return of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to the realm of the planet’s icy satellites. This follows nearly two years during which the spacecraft’s orbits carried it high above the planet’s poles. Those paths limited the mission’s ability to encounter the moons, apart from regular flybys of Titan.

Cassini’s orbit will remain nearly equatorial for the remainder of 2015, during which the spacecraft will have four close encounters with Titan, two with Dione and three with the geyser-moon, Enceladus.

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn’s moons, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn’s equatorial plane in March 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captures pictures of Saturn’s battered moon Rhea

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Following its last close flyby of Saturn’s moon Rhea, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured these raw, unprocessed images of the battered icy moon. They show an ancient, cratered surface bearing the scars of collisions with many space rocks.

Scientists are still trying to understand some of the curious features they see in these Rhea images, including a curving, narrow fracture or a graben, which is a block of ground lower than its surroundings and bordered by cliffs on either side.

This image was taken on March 10, 2013, and received on Earth March 10, 2013 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 174,181 miles (280,317 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

This image was taken on March 10, 2013, and received on Earth March 10, 2013 by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 174,181 miles (280,317 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft flys by and photos Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Dione

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft successfully flew by Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Dione during close flybys on May 2nd, 2012, capturing these raw images. The flybys were the last close encounters of these icy moons that Cassini will make for three years.

Cassini flew by Enceladus at an altitude of about 46 miles (74 kilometers). This flyby was designed primarily for the radio science sub-system to measure variations in Enceladus’ gravity field.

Dione Up Close - This raw, unprocessed image was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on May 2nd, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Dione at approximately 14,835 miles (23,875 kilometers) away. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

Dione Up Close - This raw, unprocessed image was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on May 2nd, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Dione at approximately 14,835 miles (23,875 kilometers) away. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Captures New Images of Saturn’s Icy Moon Rhea

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea, were taken on March 10th, 2012, by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. This was a relatively distant flyby with a close-approach distance of 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers), well suited for global geologic mapping.

During the flyby, Cassini captured these distinctive views of the moon’s cratered surface, creating a 30-frame mosaic of Rhea’s leading hemisphere and the side of the moon that faces away from Saturn.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Rhea on March 10th, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 26,019 miles (41,873 kilometers) away. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Rhea on March 10th, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 26,019 miles (41,873 kilometers) away. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Detects Hint of Fresh Air at Saturn’s moon Dione

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has “sniffed” molecular oxygen ions around Saturn’s icy moon Dione for the first time, confirming the presence of a very tenuous atmosphere.

The oxygen ions are quite sparse – one for every 0.67 cubic inches of space (one for every 11 cubic centimeters of space) or about 2,550 per cubic foot (90,000 per cubic meter) – show that Dione has an extremely thin neutral atmosphere.

This view highlights tectonic faults and craters on Dione, an icy world that has undoubtedly experienced geologic activity since its formation. (Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

This view highlights tectonic faults and craters on Dione, an icy world that has undoubtedly experienced geologic activity since its formation. (Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

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NASA’s Cassini to Make a Double Play

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In an action-packed day and a half, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will be making its closest swoop over the surface of Saturn’s moon Dione and scrutinizing the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

The closest approach to Dione, about 61 miles (99 kilometers) above the surface, will take place at about 1:39am PST (4:39am EST) on December 12th. One of the questions Cassini scientists will be asking during this flyby is whether Dione’s surface shows any signs of activity.

A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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Cassini Presents Saturn Moon Quintet

 

Written by Rosemary Sullivant
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – With the artistry of a magazine cover shoot, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this portrait of five of Saturn’s moons poised along the planet’s rings.

From left to right are Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and finally Rhea, bisected by the right side of the frame. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 684,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Rhea and 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Enceladus.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures five of Saturn's moons in one image: Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures five of Saturn's moons in one image: Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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