First images of the Cassini spacecraft after entering the Saturn atmosphere


The Cassini spacecraft has entered the last mission before succumbing to Saturn’s atmosphere and has also sent images of this entrance between the planet and its rings. Never can Saturn’s atmosphere be analyzed and observed so closely.

It is so official, the Cassini spacecraft successfully managed to cross the complex rings of Saturn and is already in the space between them and the dense atmosphere of the planet itself. The signal sent by the spacecraft was received at the offices of the US space agency NASA, last Thursday at seven in the morning of Lisbon, was already sending images of the atmosphere of Saturn, as never before we had observed. The Cassini spacecraft thus enters the final phase of its planetary exploration mission from which more data will come out and from which more images and photos of Saturn’s atmosphere will also come out until it succumbs to its enormous pressure. It should then cease to operate in September, when pressure will take over.

At the moment, the Cassini spacecraft is precisely 3,000 kilometers (3,000 kilometers) from the clouds, in the highest region of Saturn’s atmosphere, where the pressure is similar to that felt on planet Earth at sea level. It is also 300 kilometers from the innermost visible rings of the gaseous planet, this space, which is about 2,000 kilometers wide, had never been explored so far by any man-made instrument. It is mainly because of this that the Cassini mission may still give scientists more conclusions and new information about this planet.

To achieve this, the Cassini spacecraft had to travel at a speed of 124,000 km / h. The region will have no particles larger than smoke ashes, scientists believed, but could still be very dangerous to the probe, that is, at the speed it travels, such particles would be enough to damage essential parts of it. It was also for this reason that NASA engineers equipped the probe with antennas and shields, which were oriented in the direction of the particles.

For now, all of this material has run smoothly, but will be put to the test again next week, the first week of May, when the Cassini spacecraft will cross the rings again to gather more information about them and about Saturn’s atmosphere.