Cassini Report - Gerhard
Hello and welcome to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
My name is James Gerhard, and I am one of the operations engineers on the Cassini program here to share the latest news from Saturn. My job is to write the commands that tell the two imaging cameras what to do.
Since our last report, Cassini has returned some stunning views of Saturn. In this image, Cassini takes a sweeping view of Saturn's south polar region as the planet's shadow masks the rings and the bright, icy moon Mimas. Another image shows the icy moon Rhea set against giant Saturn.
Cassini completed another successful flyby of Titan on April 10, 2007. Among the new parts of familiar terrain imaged with the radar instrument was the other side boundary of the “black sea,” which could tell scientists more about its size. The radar team also aligned this pass slightly southward so that it will line up with a future altimetry flyby planned for May 12, 2007.
On Cassini’s next two passes of Titan, starting with the April 26 flyby, the radar instrument will be on the hunt for “seas”. This time, the instrument will image the area slightly north of the black sea. The radar coverage will cross over four radar swaths and begin to fill in more of the gaps in the coverage of Titan’s north pole. On the following flyby, Cassini’s infrared spectrometer will see the lit and dark sides of Titan, looking for hot spots and lightning. The two imaging cameras that I work on will do global mapping and full-disk mosaics.
From Pasadena, California, this is James Gerhard with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with the latest news from the ringed planet.