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Deep Impact arrives
NASA's Deep Impact comet spacecraft arrives at the Astrotech Space Operations Facility near Kennedy Space Center to begin final launch preparations for blastoff December 30 aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket. (2min 53sec file)
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Swift preview
Mission scientists preview NASA's Swift gamma-ray burst detection satellite being readied for launch into Earth orbit. (39min 49sec file)
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Cassini science update
Radar imagery of Saturn's moon Titan and other new data from the Cassini spacecraft is presented during this JPL news conference on Thursday. (54min 48sec file)
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Post-flyby briefing
Scientists and mission officials discuss the initial pictures and data obtained during Cassini's flyby of Titan during this JPL news conference on Wednesday. (55min 18sec file)
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First pictures
The first pictures taken by Cassini during this close encounter with Titan are received at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the delight of the mission's imaging leader. (2min 21sec file)
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Images flood in
A Cassini mission scientist provides analysis as the raw images taken of Titan's surface flood into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (29min 29sec file)
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Flyby explained
Detailed animation illustrates Cassini's flyby of Titan and how the probe's instruments will study this moon of Saturn. Expert narration is provided by a project official. (3min 09sec file)
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Hovering over Titan
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE
Posted: November 24, 2004

A mosaic of nine processed images recently acquired during Cassini's first very close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 26, 2004, constitutes the most detailed full-disc view of the mysterious moon.


Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Download larger image version here

 
The view is centered on 15 degrees South latitude, and 156 degrees West longitude. Brightness variations across the surface and bright clouds near the south pole are easily seen.

The images that comprise the mosaic have been processed to reduce the effects of the atmosphere and to sharpen surface features. The mosaic has been trimmed to show only the illuminated surface and not the atmosphere above the edge of the moon. The Sun was behind Cassini so nearly the full disc is illuminated. Pixels scales of the composite images vary from 2 to 4 kilometers per pixel (1.2 to 2.5 miles per pixel).

Surface features are best seen near the center of the disc, where the spacecraft is looking directly downwards; the contrast becomes progressively lower and surface features become fuzzier towards the outside, where the spacecraft is peering through haze, a circumstance that washes out surface features.

The brighter region on the right side and equatorial region is named Xanadu Regio. Scientists are actively debating what processes may have created the bizarre surface brightness patterns seen here. The images hint at a young surface with, no obvious craters. However, the exact nature of that activity, whether tectonic, wind-blown, fluvial, marine, or volcanic is still to be determined.

The images comprising this mosaic were acquired from distances ranging from 650,000 kilometers (400,000 miles) to 300,000 kilometers (200,000 miles).

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

Cassini poster
Just in time for the Cassini spacecraft's arrival at Saturn, this new poster celebrates the mission to explore the ringed planet and its moons.
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2005 Calendar
The 2005 edition of the Universe of the Hubble Space Telescope calendar is available from our U.S. store and will soon be available worldwide. This 12x12-inch calendar features spectacular images from the orbiting observatory.
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Moon panorama
Taken by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, this panoramic poster shows lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell as a brilliant Sun glare reflects off the lunar module Antares.
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Mars Rover mission patch
A mission patch featuring NASA's Mars Exploration Rover is now available from the Astronomy Now Store.
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An insider's view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial.
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