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domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015

NASA : Animation of Cassini "E20" Enceladus Flyby - Oct. 14, 2015.- Cassini Begins Series of Flybys with Close-up of Saturn Moon Enceladus .-Sonda Cassini comienza la serie de sobrevuelos con Primer plano del satélite de Saturno Cassini comienza la serie de sobrevuelos con Primer plano del satéliteCassini comienza la serie de sobrevuelos con Primer plano del satélite Encelado de Saturno .....

This animation shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its Oct. 14, 2015, flyby of Enceladus, which will focus on the Saturnian moon's northern polar region.
Credits: NASA
"The global nature of Enceladus' ocean and the inference that hydrothermal systems might exist at the ocean's base strengthen the case that this small moon of Saturn may have environments similar to those at the bottom of our own ocean," said Jonathan Lunine, an interdisciplinary scientist on the Cassini mission at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. "It is therefore very tempting to imagine that life could exist in such a habitable realm, a billion miles from our home."

The Oct. 14 encounter will serve as a prelude to the main event, a flyby of Enceladus on Wednesday, Oct. 28, during which Cassini will come dizzyingly close to the icy moon, passing a mere 30 miles (49 kilometers) above the moon's south polar region. During this encounter, Cassini will make its deepest-ever dive through the moon's plume of icy spray, collecting images and valuable data about what's going on beneath the frozen surface. Cassini scientists are hopeful data from that flyby will provide evidence of how much hydrothermal activity is occurring in the moon's ocean, and how the amount of activity impacts the habitability of Enceladus’ ocean.

Cassini's final close flyby on Dec. 19 will examine how much heat is coming from the moon's interior from an altitude of 3,106 miles (4,999 kilometers).

An online toolkit for all three final Enceladus flybys is available at:

Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004 and still has about two years left on its mission. Beginning in November, mission controllers will begin to slowly raise Cassini's orbit out of the space around the Saturn’s equator, where flybys of the large moons are more common. Coming up are a number of closest-ever brushes with the small moons that huddle near the planet's rings.

"We'll continue observing Enceladus and its remarkable activity for the remainder of our precious time at Saturn," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at JPL. "But these three encounters will be our last chance to see this fascinating world up close for many years to come."

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
For more information about Cassini, visit:


Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
Headquarters, Washington                                                          
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1077
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov / laura.l.cantillo@nasa.gov

Preston Dyches
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Last Updated: Oct. 13, 2015
Editor: Karen Northon
Tags:  Cassini, Enceladus,
Guillermo Gonzalo Sánchez Achutegui

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