NASA’s Cassini spacecraft which has been helping scientists to understand Saturn and its moons is finally nearing its end. NASA on Tuesday announced that Cassini which has been there for more than 12 years, reading Saturn’s patterns will begin the first phase of its endgame this November.
The spacecraft will eventually take a suicidal plunge through Saturn’s thick atmosphere next September.
Scientists are calling this process as Cassini’s ring-grazing orbits. Saturn’s rings were first observed by Galileo in 1610 and were named alphabetically in the order they were discovered-A,B,C and D.
Grazing edges of the ring will provide scientists a good chance to closely study the outer portions of Saturn's main rings.
Ring-grazing orbits is not an overnight process as scientists have been slowly adjusting the spacecraft’s orbit since January.
They have been doing this by flying Cassini near Saturn’s large moon Titan.
Why is it so important?
#Cassini’s ring grazing will allow scientists to look features in Saturn’s rings closer than ever.
#The spacecraft will pass so closely through the rings that it will get to experience the dusty edges of the F ring.
#During this entire journey, Cassini will sample the faint gases surrounding the rings as well as the particles that make up the F ring
#Cassini will also capture high-resolution images of the rings.
This will enrich world knowledge of planets and may prove to be of some help when it comes to searching for habitable planets in the universe.