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 Farewell to Cassini 
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Post Farewell to Cassini
I thought it appropriate to share this bittersweet farewell with my fellow aficionados of the Chapman Stick. We are entering the final hours of Cassini's mission as it prepares to make it's final approach to Saturn.

Image

While there are vast lists of the achievements and discoveries made by this plucky little discovery machine, to me, the best part is knowing that it took 27 nations to make it happen. The success of Cassini has depended largely on multitudes of team work across groups, educational institutions and nations.

This time tomorrow (+3 hours), somewhere over the violent swirling skies of Saturn, Cassini will become one with the planet it has been orbiting for over a decade.

Here are some of my favorite articles if you are interested:
Final Approach
Best images
What Hyugens saw - this has great dialog as well.
Cassini Going out in a blaze of glory lecture - outstanding presentation with Earl Maize and Linda Spilker, comments at 1:09:00 from yours truly

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Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:43 pm
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Post Re: Farewell to Cassini
an amazing thing... So great that people can have a vision that extends into the future to make something like this happen...

Cheers!

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Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Farewell to Cassini
Thanks Gene, been watching this one with great interest :D

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Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:32 pm
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Post Re: Farewell to Cassini
I am constantly in awe!

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Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:46 am
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Post Re: Farewell to Cassini
https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/2892/c ... scoveries/

Cassini 10 Years at Saturn Top 10 Discoveries

1. The Huygens probe makes first landing on a moon in the outer solar system (Titan)
2. Discovery of active, icy plumes on the Saturnian moon Enceladus
3. Saturn’s rings revealed as active and dynamic -- a laboratory for how planets form
4. Titan revealed as Earth-like world with rain, rivers, lakes and seas
5. Studies of the great northern storm of 2010-2011
6. Radio-wave patterns shown not to be tied to Saturn’s interior rotation as previously thought
7. Vertical structures in the rings imaged for the first time
8. Study of prebiotic chemistry on Titan
9. Mystery of the dual bright-dark surface of Iapetus solved
10. First complete view of the north polar hexagon and discovery of giant hurricanes at both of Saturn’s poles

Most interesting to me were numbers 2 and 4, but especially #2:
Quote:
The discovery of Enceladus's massive plume was such a surprise that mission designers completely reshaped the mission to get a better look. The discovery became even more important when Cassini found evidence of water-based ice in the plume. Life as we know it relies on water, so the search for life suddenly extended to this small, bright moon. The recent discovery of signs of an subsurface ocean makes Enceladus one of the most exciting science destinations in our solar system.


And partly from Cassini and partly from other probes, and the Hubble telescope, and scientific readings, we now know the most mind-blowing discovery made about our solar system since Copernicus thought that the sun and not the earth was the center of the solar system:

There is more liquid water--not ice, but liquid water--in the moons surrounding Jupiter and Saturn than the entirety of the water on Planet Earth. No aliens are coming here for our water! (Sorry, M. Night Shyamalama-dingdong and your horrible Signs movie!) I find that extremely interesting and awesome!

Rest In Peace, Cassini. Mission well done and more than accomplished!

Adds: Okay, Signs had the aliens fearing the water of our mostly made-of-water planet. They weren't here FOR our water but in spite of it. Sorry for that error. It's an old sci-fi trope that the aliens would come for our water--and to SERVE MAN, which, spoiler alert, means serve us AS the main course, and not serve us food. And Signs and M Knight are both horrible movies and directors. But the aliens can stick a space straw in any of these water-ice moons around our gas giants and more than fill up their tanks, and save on gas and fighting our gravity well. (Water is REALLY heavy, by the way, and why fight a gravity well to bring all that water off the earth?) :) Not to mention the massive amount of space ice floating around the Oort Cloud that they could hoover up, and never even have to get inside the solar system. :) ;)

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Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:32 am
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Post Re: Farewell to Cassini
This is awesome! Very cool, Gene!

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Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:53 am
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Post Re: Farewell to Cassini
This.

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21888/dreamy-swirls-on-saturn

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Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:22 am
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