Here is The Exact Spot on Saturn Where the Cassini Spacecraft Crashed

Friday, 23 February 2018 - 5:41PM
Space
Solar System
NASA
Friday, 23 February 2018 - 5:41PM
Here is The Exact Spot on Saturn Where the Cassini Spacecraft Crashed
< >
NASA
Last September marked the end of an era for NASA, as their long-running Cassini spacecraft finally ended its mission that gave us some of the best images and data about Saturn that we've ever seen.

And it ended that mission spectacularly, by crashing itself straight into the ringed planet. Since Saturn is such a big place, if you're curious where specifically Cassini landed during its terminal plummet, NASA has released an image compiled from several of Cassini's final photos showing its location.

They were taken during the probe's final descent into Saturn, which allowed NASA to pinpoint where it burned up in Saturn's atmosphere. Here's the initial image:




And they also released an annotated version of this image, showing precisely where in the photo would become Cassini's final resting place:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

All of the photos that went into this image were taken while Cassini was approximately 394,000 miles (634,000 kilometers) above the surface of the planet, and if it were any closer, the image would probably be monochromatic and less interesting to look at.

This is as close to Saturn as any probe has ever gotten, mostly because this one wouldn't be coming back from it.



If this is all too depressing (especially if you were fond of the little probe), a piece of Cassini likely survived, having detached itself long before the spacecraft ever reached Saturn. But nobody knows exactly where it is, only that it's drifting through space somewhere in our solar system.

But still, that means it's not completely dead. Just mostly dead.
Science
Science News
Space
Solar System
NASA
No