Ep. 32, Page 28

smbhax on Sept. 19, 2017

On Friday, the Cassini probe took its planned swan dive into the planet Saturn, ending its 20-year mission to the ringed planet. I've mentioned Cassini in 28 previous A* blog posts, so it's safe to say the probe's adventures, readings and discoveries have had a profound impact on this webcomic! I can't possibly list all of Cassini's scientific achievements in this one blog entry but, among other things, it discovered seven new moons of Saturn, dropped the Huygens lander on the moon Titan, getting us ground photos from Titan's surface, and it discovered water ice jets shooting out of the moon Enceladus, revealing a vast subsurface ocean.

You can see images Cassini took in its final, exploratory plunges over here, including an infrared view of what would become its own impact site in the colossal banks of clouds. My own favorite photos from Cassini have always been its views of Enceladus; here's a fittingly solitary, distant one it took of Enceladus and the famous ice jets in April of this year:

image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute (source)