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Rev 92: November 4 Ė November 12, 2008
Cassini continues its series of week-long orbits with Rev92, the spacecraftís 93rd orbit around the Ringed Planet.
Cassini begins Rev92 on November 4 at its farthest distance from Saturn, called apoapsis. At this point, Cassini is 1.27 million km (789,000 mi) from Saturn. The spacecraft is in a high-inclination orbit here, as it is for most of 2008, providing opportunities to view the ring system from high above the ring plane. Such an orbit also provides an opportunity to study the polar regions of Saturn and its satellites.
Cassini ISSís first few observations of Rev92 cover several of Saturnís satellites. On November 6, Cassini will acquire a two-frame mosaic designed to look for clouds in Titanís northern trailing hemisphere, . This observation will also provide an excellent opportunity to observe Kraken Mare, a large methane sea located at the terminator at this time. On November 5 and 6, Cassini will acquire the first two of seven planned observations of Saturnís small, inner satellites, designed to study the orbital motions of these objects. In this case, Cassini will observe Pandora, Epimetheus, Pan, Methone, Atlas, Janus, and Prometheus.
On November 7, Cassini will acquire two rings observations. The first is a short, 3-hour movie observation of the F ring. The second is a high-resolution, azimuthal scan of the unlit side of the Cassini Division. Cassini will also acquire another small satellite observation, this time covering Anthe, Prometheus, Janus, Epimetheus, and Atlas. On November 8, Cassini will turn its cameras to the F ring to acquire a high-resolution scan.
On November 8, Cassini reaches periapse, its closest point to Saturn on Rev92. At that point, Cassini will be 259,000 km (161,000 mi) from Saturnís center. Near periapse, Cassini will quickly pass high over the north polar region of Saturn before descending below the ring plane 76 minutes before periapse. Shortly before periapse, Cassini will perform a non-targeted encounter of Enceladus at distance of 52,800 km (32,800 mi), although no images of Enceladus will be acquired during this encounter. A few hours after closest approach, Cassini will acquire a partial azimuthal scan of the Maxwell ringlet in the outer C ring. Later on November 9, Cassini will take another look at Titan, this time at the moonís sub-Saturn hemisphere. Cassini will also observe several of Saturnís small satellites, including Polydeuces, Calypso, Pallene, Helene, and Telesto.
During the last three days of Rev92, Cassiniís cameras will be focused primarily on Saturnís small satellites, acquiring three orbit determination sequences. The targets for these observations include Pandora, Epimetheus, Janus, Methone, Prometheus, Atlas, Calypso, Telesto, and Anthe. Cassini will also observe Saturnís F and E rings.
Cassini begins Rev93 on November 12. Rev93 includes T47, a flyby of Titan.
Image products created in Celestia. All dates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).