By John Kessler
Scientists have published a video with a sequence of photographs taken by “Cassini” in the last hours of work. He watched the geysers of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Cassini-Huygens is an automated interplanetary station jointly created by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency to explore the planet Saturn, its rings and satellites. The mission launched on October 15, 1997, 20 years later, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced the impending completion of Cassini in September 2017.
In August 2017, Cassini observed the night side of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, for 14 hours.
Just 18 days after these sightings, Enceladus Cassini completed its mission. NASA specialists sent a probe into the atmosphere of Saturn, where the device, which had been exploring the planet for 13 years, disintegrated into its component parts under the influence of high temperatures. This decision was made because the Cassini’s fuel tanks were almost empty, and NASA felt that the device should not drift uncontrollably around the planet and its satellites. Three years after the spacecraft burned up in Saturn’s atmosphere, scientists continue to analyze the data it has collected.
Enceladus is one of the most interesting objects to study the Cassini mission. At just 500 km in diameter, the bright and icy Enceladus is too small and too far from the Sun to be active. However, this small moon with active geysers at the south pole is one of the most geologically dynamic objects in the solar system.