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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:50 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
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Location: Lancashire
On April 22, the spectacularly successful Cassini probe will begin its final mission since arriving at Saturn in 2004. Since then, the probe has been doing an extensive exploration of the gas giant and its 62 known moons.
Before its fiery end in Saturn's atmosphere, Nasa will send Cassini on a final fly-by of Titan in a gravity sling-shot to send the probe into a new orbit that passes through the 1,200 miles wide gap from the inner edge of the innermost ring to the top of Saturn's atmosphere.
Nasa hopes that Cassini will survive for long enough to make 22 dives through the rings to analyse their age and composition. If a single particle strikes the probe, it could be the end of Cassini, as it will be travelling at 70,000 miles per hour.
Researchers would like to know if the rings are the same age as Saturn - about 4.6 billion years -
or younger.


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