2012 Cassini Flybys

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Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » December 28th, 2011, 10:24 pm

T-80
2 January 2012
29,415 kilometers


Cassini will measure thermal plasmas in Titan's ionosphere. Also, the VIMS will perform occultations of the carbon star CW Leonis and the Mira variable R Leonis in connection with an investigation of the composition of Titan's atmosphere. This is one of the two most scientifically-important flybys of Titan during the Solstice mission. [Cassini completed its original mission in June 2008 and its first extended mission (Cassini Equinox) in September 2010. These current flybys are part of the second extended mission, Cassini Solstice.]

About the stars:
http://herschel.cf.ac.uk/results/cw-leonis
http://www.daviddarling.info/encycloped ... eonis.html

mhess
Posts: 24
Joined: December 27th, 2010, 12:31 pm

Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys - Titan Closeup photos

Post by mhess » December 31st, 2011, 11:48 am

The CICLOPS site has posted some amazing photos.

http://www.ciclops.org/view_event/167/?js=1

Sky & Telescope has a good article about it.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/communit ... 57793.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » February 10th, 2012, 9:48 pm

T-82
19 February 2012
3803 kilometers


The CIRS instrument will be used for a number of observations, including "limb sounding". This will be a equatorial cruise past Titan's magnetic tail. Cassini also studied the tail during T-78, but at a lower altitude.

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » February 22nd, 2012, 8:23 pm

Non-Flyby Activities
8 March to 11 March 2012

The next flyby is not until the end of March, but that doesn't mean Cassini will be lazing about. The Imaging Science Subsystem will make observations of Jarnsaxa and Mundilfari. Discovered in 2006 and 2000 respectively, they are two of the so-called "Norse moons", which have drastically-inclined (and retrograde) orbits.

There will be monitoring of Titan's clouds during the first half of March to see if pattern development is noticed. Rainfall is also being monitored.

About Jarnsaxa:
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/pro ... t_Jarnsaxa

About Mundilfari:
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/pro ... Mundilfari

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » March 3rd, 2012, 10:06 pm

Cassini's plasma detector has found an extremely thin atmosphere--one oxygen ion per eleven cubic centimeters--on Dione. This data is from the 7 April 2010 flyby.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassi ... 20302.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » March 18th, 2012, 7:26 pm

E-17
27 March 2012
74 kilometers (wow!)


Zipping by a seven-and-a-half kilometers per second, the spacecraft's pertinent instruments will directly sample Enceladus' plumes. The spectrometer will be used for "hot spots". Also, a five-hour investigation of a plume will take place, allowing a good estimate of the sizes of the plume's particles.

I put "wow" at the top, but the eighteenth and nineteenth passes will also be this close.

More information:
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/flyb ... s20120306/

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » June 20th, 2012, 10:34 pm

T-85
24 July 2012
990-1012 kilometers


Cassini will attempt to detect changes in climate after the equinox. It will also try to catch "specular reflection" on the Northern lakes. This is one of the two most important Titan flybys for the VIMS instrument.

More information:
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/saturntourdates/

About specular reflection:
http://www.math.sunysb.edu/~sorin/onlin ... x3354.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: 2012 Cassini Flybys

Post by Christopher K. » October 7th, 2012, 4:58 pm

T-87
13 November 2012
973 kilometers


This will be one of the two most significant flybys of Titan during the Solstice mission. The navigation team will keep a watch on Cassini; they don't want it to get too deep into the atmosphere of Titan as that may hinder control. VIMS will detect clouds to monitor climatic changes after the equinox.

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