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Cassini Finds 'The Big Empty' Close to Saturn

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posted on May, 2 2017 @ 12:18 PM
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In a prelude to the Grand Finale this September Cassini has taken its first run through the space between Saturn and its rings and discovered 'The Big Empty' , NASA scientists had expected the area to contain dust particles which could have damaged the spacecraft so they turned the craft so the antenna dish could act as a shield but in reality the area was empty except for a few tiny dust particles.

"The region between the rings and Saturn is 'the big empty,' apparently," said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Cassini will stay the course, while the scientists work on the mystery of why the dust level is much lower than expected."


When RPWS data are converted to an audio format, dust particles hitting the instrument's antennas sound like pops and cracks, covering up the usual whistles and squeaks of waves in the charged particle environment that the instrument is designed to detect. The RPWS team expected to hear a lot of pops and cracks on crossing the ring plane inside the gap, but instead, the whistles and squeaks came through surprisingly clearly on April 26.

"It was a bit disorienting -- we weren't hearing what we expected to hear," said William Kurth, RPWS team lead at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. "I've listened to our data from the first dive several times and I can probably count on my hands the number of dust particle impacts I hear." The team's analysis suggests Cassini only encountered a few particles as it crossed the gap -- none larger than those in smoke (about 1 micron across).
www.nasa.gov...


NASA have provided audio from Cassini data as it crossed through the gap into 'The Big Empty'


Cassini will make its next pass through the gap today so more info on The Big Empty to follow.

edit on 2-5-2017 by gortex because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 2 2017 @ 12:33 PM
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a reply to: gortex

I heard an English scientist talking about this on NPR - she stated they are going to try to have Cassini pass through the "big empty" 28 times or something like that. Wow!

The final "plunge" into the giant gas planet will really be something too - they say it will be transmitting data pretty much until the very end. Exciting times!!!



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 12:37 PM
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Science finding what they thought was real, is not really true. That happens all the time lately since we have actually started getting tools to check things out. It is in all forms of science, not just space exploration. Just because people think something is real does not mean it really is. A lot of theories were made up by thinking about things and we did not really have any way of testing their relativity. This happens in medicine and all scientific research, often they are on the wrong path and investigate things for tens of years only to find they had gone the wrong way long ago.

If this big empty is really empty, then it means a few theories need to be altered. They sideways apply these things all over the place.



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

They do that to present the appearance of infallibility, as a substitute for religion.

And they get it just as wrong as anyone else does. Scientism is a cult.



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 03:54 PM
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Any reason they named it "the big empty"?

Normally, at Mission Control, they start the day with a song. I have the perfect one!

Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 04:01 PM
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(NASA/JPL-CALTECH) BBC.com

That is just awesome! Had to share.




posted on May, 2 2017 @ 04:09 PM
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They should aim it at some serious heavy section of rings and photo on way in. It is over if it dies, it dies. Lets see what the rings are up close.

It's like landing rovers in asteroid craters to look for life lol.
edit on 2-5-2017 by Xeven because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-5-2017 by Xeven because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 04:55 PM
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originally posted by: NthOther
a reply to: rickymouse

They do that to present the appearance of infallibility, as a substitute for religion.

And they get it just as wrong as anyone else does. Scientism is a cult.


They know they get things wrong and are willing to adjust to new information that is in direct contrast to religion or cults.



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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Scientists are allowed to guess, and finding out that you're wrong based on new evidence is the hallmark of science. It doesn't happen to religion, and religion is not how you get to build a computer, conduct a complex lifesaving surgery, or launch a rocket to space. Science does those things.

As for Saturn, I guess that whatever's keeping the rings in their place also keeps the gaps virtually dust-free. That "whatever" is actually gravitation from Saturn and Saturn's moons.



posted on May, 2 2017 @ 06:30 PM
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a reply to: Xeven

I read they are purposefully crashing into Saturn to keep any unused fuel from potentially harming any microbial life on any of the moons.

#KeepEnceladusClean




posted on May, 4 2017 @ 02:40 PM
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Fricken AWESOME!!





"The images from the first pass were great, but we were conservative with the camera settings. We plan to make updates to our observations for a similar opportunity on June 28 that we think will result in even better views," said Andrew Ingersoll, a member of the Cassini imaging team based at Caltech in Pasadena, California.

JPL: New Movie Shows Cassini's First Dive over Saturn


edit on 4-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: figured you to embed!! YAY!!

edit on 4-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add quote and link



posted on May, 4 2017 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

blown away ... thanks for this



posted on May, 4 2017 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: heineken


As the movie frames were captured, the Cassini spacecraft's altitude above the clouds dropped from 45,000 to 4,200 miles (72,400 to 6,700 kilometers). As this occurred, the smallest resolvable features in the atmosphere changed from 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) per pixel to 0.5 mile (810 meters) per pixel.

(same as above quote)

Finally! Somebody watched and commented! Lol, waiting all day to post the altitude drop quote and re-bump the thread!

Yeah that is pretty spectacular! At the JPL link they have a gif loop under the title. It is SO mesmerizing!




posted on May, 5 2017 @ 03:22 AM
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As Cassini swung around through the gap, it then came over Saturn's south pole (which is currently in shadow and experiencing "winter") and over Saturn's night side. What we got is this fantastic view of the nightside (with some twilight showing on the limb) and the view of backlit outer rings E and G.

The image is in approximately true colours:



Here's the same view processed by Ian Regan and showing stars in the background:


edit on 5-5-2017 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 03:41 AM
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originally posted by: NthOther
a reply to: rickymouse

They do that to present the appearance of infallibility, as a substitute for religion.

And they get it just as wrong as anyone else does. Scientism is a cult.


Congratulations on your complete misunderstanding of how science works.

Theories are created based on the knowledge available at the time and are updated or changed as new data is discovered. To a scientist, a negative result is just as illuminating as a positive result.

By the way, without science you wouldn't have the ability to post your nonsense on the internet. Religion didn't create the Internet, nor anything else other than 2 thousand years of wars, whereas science has only ever advanced the human race - not attempted to keep it in the Dark Ages.


edit on 5/5/2017 by Kryties because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

Nice!

So much for the "stars can't be seen in space" idea...



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