Spaceflight Now



Spaceflight Now +



Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers.

Titan up close
Scientists reveal stunning pictures of Saturn's moon Titan and other results during this news conference from July 3. (38min 17sec file)
 Play video

Saturn ring pictures
Cassini's stunning close-up images of the rings around Saturn, taken just after the craft entered orbit Thursday morning, are presented with expert narration by Carolyn Porco, the mission imaging team leader. (8min 39sec file)
 Play video

Burn ignition!
Mission control erupts in applause as communications from Cassini confirm the orbit insertion burn has begun. (60sec file)
 Play video

Burn completed
Signals from Cassini announce the conclusion of the Saturn orbit insertion burn, confirming the spacecraft has arrived at the ringed planet. (2min 15sec file)
 Play video

Post-arrival briefing
Mission officials hold a post-orbit insertion burn news conference at 1 a.m. EDT July 1 to discuss Cassini's successful arrival at Saturn. (25min 27sec file)
 Play video

Wednesday's status briefing
Cassini's health in the final hours before arrival at Saturn is presented in this status briefing from 12 p.m. EDT on June 30. (33min 09sec file)
 Play video

International cooperation
Officials from the U.S., European and Italian space agencies discuss the international cooperation in the Cassini mission and future exploration projects during this news conference from 2 p.m. EDT June 30. (19min 35sec file)
 Play video

'Ring-side' chat
This informal "ring-side chat" from 5 p.m. EDT June 30 discusses the Cassini mission to Saturn and the future of space exploration. (49min 20sec file)
 Play video

Phoebe science briefing
Scientists report scientific results from the Cassini spacecraft's close-up examination of Saturn's moon Phoebe. (31min 53sec file)
 Play video

Cassini preview
The Cassini spacecraft's arrival at Saturn is previewed in this detailed news conference from NASA Headquarters on June 3. (50min 01sec file)
 Play video

Cassini mission science
The scientific objectives of the Cassini mission to study the planet Saturn, its rings and moons are explained by Charles Elachi, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (4min 54sec file)
 Play video

Become a subscriber
More video



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest news in astronomy and space e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Ultraviolet pictures hint at origin of Saturn's rings
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO NEWS RELEASE
Posted: July 7, 2004

The best view ever of Saturn's rings in the ultraviolet indicates there is more ice toward the outer part of the rings, hinting at ring origin and evolution, say two University of Colorado at Boulder researchers involved in the Cassini mission.


From the inside out, the "Cassini division" in faint red at left is followed by the A ring in its entirety. The A ring begins with a "dirty" interior of red followed by a general pattern of more turquoise as it spreads away from the planet, which indicates denser material made up of ice. The red band roughly three-fourths of the way outward in the A ring is known as the Encke gap.
Download a larger image version here

 
Researchers from CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Joshua Colwell and Larry Esposito, said the UV spectra taken during the Cassini spacecraft's orbital insertion June 30 show definite compositional variation in the A, B and C rings.

Esposito, who discovered the F ring around Saturn in 1979 using Pioneer 11 data, is the team leader for Cassini's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph, or UVIS, a $12.5 million instrument riding on the spacecraft. A UVIS team member and ring expert, Colwell created the color-enhanced images from the spectra.

The CU-Boulder built UVIS instrument is capable of resolving the rings to show features up to 60 miles across, roughly 10 times the resolution obtained by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. The instrument was able to resolve the "Cassini division," discovered by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in the 17th century, which separates the A and B rings of Saturn, proving the rings are not one contiguous feature.

The ring system begins from the inside out with the D, C, B and A rings followed by the F, G and E rings. The red in both images indicates sparser ringlets likely made of "dirty," and possibly smaller, particles than in the denser, icier turquoise ringlets.


This image shows the outer C and inner B rings respectively from left to right, with the inner B ring beginning a little more than halfway across the image. The general pattern is from "dirty" red particles to the denser ice shown in turquoise as the ringlets spread outward.
Download a larger image version here

 

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: WATCH SATURDAY'S NEWS CONFERENCE ON TITAN PICTURES QT
VIDEO: WATCH FRIDAY'S SCIENCE NEWS CONFERENCE QT

VIDEO: THURSDAY'S NEWS BRIEFING ON CASSINI'S FIRST PICTURES QT
VIDEO: RING PICTURES ARE PRESENTED WITH EXPERT NARRATION QT
VIDEO: CASSINI RE-DISCOVERS TINY MOONS ATLAS AND PAN QT
VIDEO: CASSINI BOOMING SOUNDS FROM BOW-SHOCK CROSSING QT

VIDEO: CASSINI BEGINS ENGINE FIRING TO ENTER ORBIT QT
VIDEO: BURN ENDS SUCCESSFULLY TO PUT CASSINI IN ORBIT QT
VIDEO: POST-ARRIVAL NEWS CONFERENCE QT

VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S 12 P.M. EDT CASSINI STATUS BRIEFING QT
VIDEO: A LOOK AT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION QT
VIDEO: 'RING-SIDE CHAT' ABOUT SPACE EXPLORATION QT
VIDEO: AN OVERVIEW OF CASSINI'S RADIO SCIENCE QT

VIDEO: TUESDAY'S CASSINI MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING QT
VIDEO: CASSINI'S ARRIVAL AT SATURN EXPLAINED QT
VIDEO: SCIENCE OBJECTIVES FOR CASSINI ORBITER QT
VIDEO: HUYGENS LANDER SCIENCE OBJECTIVES QT
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Apollo 11 special patch
Special collectors' patch marking the 35th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing is now available.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Inside Apollo mission control
An insider's view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial.
 Choose your store:
U.S.

The ultimate Apollo 11 DVD
This exceptional chronicle of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission features new digital transfers of film and television coverage unmatched by any other.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Next ISS crew
Own a little piece of history with this official patch for the International Space Station's Expedition 11 crew. We'll ship yours today!
 Choose your store:
U.S.

Ares 1-X Patch
The official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
 U.S. STORE

Expedition 21
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Hubble Patch
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.