A large island, in the middle of one of Titan's largest lakes, was spotted on Cassini's recent flyby of the moon.


Hello and welcome to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. I'm Jan Berkeley, one of the Sequence Team Lead engineers on the Cassini program here to share the latest news from Saturn. My job is to build and send commands up to the spacecraft so that it can carry out all of the tasks we ask it to perform. The result of a recent command sequence I sent up culminated in some amazing views of Saturn.

Now, let's talk about our most recent flyby of Titan on Feb. 22, 2007. Cassini's radar instrument crisscrossed over familiar terrain and captured more lakes and dunes. One of the most exciting results from this flyby is a large island, which is right in the middle of one of the largest lakes ever seen on Titan. We're anxious to see more on upcoming flybys, but for now, let's turn our sights on Saturn.

Cassini has returned some amazing views of Saturn: from the top to bottom, sideways and just about every angle you can The first view shows the giant planet coasting overhead as its atmosphere rages with thunderous, hurricane-like storms. A giant bull's eye pattern is centered on the south pole, where yet another massive storm spins.

Next is a movie sequence that captures Saturn's rings during a ring plane crossing--which Cassini makes twice per orbit--from the spacecraft's point of view. As the spacecraft speeds from south to north, the rings appear to tilt downward, collapse to a thin plane, and then open again. If you watch carefully, you'll see six moons orbit beyond the rings.

Finally, we close with a stunning view of Saturn from the top which takes in the rings in their entirety. Up next for Cassini is a flyby of Titan on March 10. Our planned observations include temperature mapping, and monitoring of cloud motion on the moon Titan. From Pasadena, California, this is Jan Berkeley with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and your latest news from the ringed planet.
View all Videos