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National Aeronautics and Space Administration THE SATURN SYSTEM THROUGH THE EYES OF CASSINI TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword iii Saturn: Crown Jewel of the Solar System 5 Rings: Ice Particles, Moonlets, and Gravity 20 Titan: A Moon Obscured 39 Enceladus: The Rarest of Pearls 62 Other Moons: A Menagerie of Icy Worlds 86 Appendix I: The Mission 104 Appendix I
  National Aeronautics and Space Administration THE SATURN SYSTEM THROUGH THE EYES OF CASSINI  iii 520396286104   TABLE OF CONTENTS ForewordSaturn: Crown Jewel of the Solar System Rings: Ice Particles, Moonlets, and Gravity Titan: A Moon Obscured Enceladus: The Rarest of Pearls Other Moons: A Menagerie of Icy Worlds Appendix I:  The Mission Appendix II: Scientific Instruments  10 7    THE SATURN SYSTEM THROUGH THE EYES OF CASSINI This book was developed collaboratively by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) including NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD), NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), operated for NASA by Universities Space Research Association. ON THE COVER: Nested Rings Saturn's northern hemisphere is seen here against its nested rings. This view from the Cassini spacecraft looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 30 degrees above the ring plane. The rings have been brightened relative to the planet to enhance visibility. Images taken using red, green, and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural-color view. Cassini captured these images on February 24, 2009, at approximately 538,000 miles (866,000 kilometers) from Saturn. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute Published 2017   For complete media usage guidelines, please visit This publication is available as a free download at  ii  FOREWORD BY JAMES GREEN DIRECTOR, NASA PLANETARY SCIENCE DIVISION  JULY 2017 More than 400 years ago, Galileo Galilei trained his homemade telescope on the night sky and observed that Saturn had two objects closely related to the planet extending on either side. At the time, in 1610, Galileo declared them to be moons. A few decades later, Saturn moon science accelerated at a dizzying pace. Christiaan Huygens first observed Saturn’s largest moon Titan in 1655 and was the first to describe the extended “moon-like” features at Saturn as a disk of material sounding the planet. From 1671 to 1674, Giovanni Cassini discovered the moons Iapetus, Rhea, Dione and Tethys. In 1675, Cassini discovered the gap in Saturn’s rings that we now know as the “Cassini Division.” In the space age, before the Cassini-Huygens mission, we had only hints of the discoveries awaiting us at Saturn. Pioneer 11 and Voyagers 1 and 2 conducted flybys decades ago. But these quick encounters didn’t allow time for more extensive research. NASA and the European Space Agency created a partnership to orbit a Saturn orbiter (Cassini) and a lander (Huygens) on Titan. Like its namesakes, the Cassini-Huygens mission not only discovered previously unknown moons, but it also helped us understand the science behind their formation, their interactions with the rings, and how truly diverse they are. The Cassini-Huygens mission revolutionized what we know about the Saturn system. The rings of Saturn, the moons, and the planet itself offer irresistible and inexhaustible subjects for intense study, and Cassini-Huygens did not disappoint. The Saturnian system proved to be a rich ground for science exploration and discoveries, and Cassini has been nothing short of a discovery machine. At the time Cassini plunged into Saturn at the end of its mission, it had observed the planet for a little less than half of a Saturn year. But it also orbited the gas giant 293 times, forever changing our understanding of the Saturn system and yielding tremendous insight for understanding the entire Solar System. Cassini’s observations have given us new views of the planet that provided a plethora of iconic images. The mission has made iii
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