CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Rev 66: Apr 25 - May 5 '08
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Cassini's fast and furious orbits around Saturn continue with 9.6-day-long Rev66, the spacecraft's 67th orbit of the Ringed Planet. As such, Cassini's slate of observations is tightly focused, with sequences involving Titan and Saturn's rings and small satellites.

Cassini begins Rev66, on April 25 at its farthest distance from Saturn, called apoapsis. At this point, Cassini is 1.48 million km (917,000 mi) from Saturn. The high inclination of this orbit allows for detailed study of Saturn's ring system and northern hemisphere from high above the ringplane. On April 25, Cassini performs several observations of Saturn's small satellites. The observations are designed to study the orbits of these objects and how they might evolve over short periods due to perturbations from the other satellites in the system. On April 26, Cassini will perform a non-targeted encounter of Titan at distance of 780,000 km (485,000 mi). Cassini will take this opportunity to image Titan's north polar region and northern anti-Saturn hemisphere. Previous views of this area have not revealed any of the large seas seen on the trailing hemisphere. On the same day, Cassini will acquire distant color observations of Pan and Atlas.

On April 30, Cassini reaches periapse, its closest point to Saturn on Rev66. At that point, Cassini will be 259,000 km (161,000 mi) from Saturn's cloud tops. At periapse, Cassini will be observing the inner portion of the Cassini Division (a dusty region separating the A and B rings) at high resolution. The next day, Cassini will acquire a high-resolution radial scan from the outer F ring to the inner D ring. Cassini will also stare at the B ring near the morning shadow boundary in order to look for spokes. On May 2, Cassini will perform a similar observation, looking for spokes in the act of formation. The spacecraft will also acquire another orbit determination observation by looking at several of Saturn's small moons.

Cassini begins the following orbit, Rev67, on May 5. Rev67 includes a close flyby of Titan (flyby designation "T43") and distant observations of Tethys and Enceladus.

Image products created in Celestia.

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