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Rev 94: November 20 - November 28, 2008
Cassini continues its extended tour of the Saturn system with Rev94, the spacecraft's 95th orbit around the Ringed Planet.
Cassini begins Rev94 on November 20 at its farthest distance from Saturn, called apoapse. At this point, Cassini is 1.22 million km (760,000 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 ISS's first two observations of Rev94 cover several of Saturn's satellites. On November 21, Cassini will image several of Saturn's small, inner satellites, including Anthe, Pallene, Atlas, and Prometheus, designed to study the orbital motions of these moons. Cassini will also acquire a 10-hour movie of the F ring. On November 22, ISS will take a 19-frame, natural-color mosaic of the unlit side of Saturn's ring system with the goal of better understanding the photometry of the system. On November 23, Cassini will obtain another, much shorter movie of the F ring.
On November 24, Cassini reaches periapse, its closest point to Saturn on Rev94. At that point, Cassini will be 313,000 km (195,000 mi) from Saturn's center. Near periapse, Cassini will quickly pass high over the north polar region of Saturn before descending below the ring plane 75 minutes before periapse. Shortly before periapse, Cassini will perform a non-targeted encounter of Tethys at distance of 24,464 km (15,200 mi). Two mosaics of Tethys's southern sub-Saturn hemisphere will be acquired following closest approach. The two mosaics can later be combined to produce stereo coverage of this region, providing new information about the topography of Tethys. A few hours before, Cassini will acquire an observation of Helene, when Cassini is 65,000 km (40,000 mi) from the small satellite.
On November 25, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) will acquire a temperature map of the lit face of the saturnian ring system. ISS will ride along to look for spokes in the B ring. Cassini will next observe the trailing hemisphere of Titan from a distance of 1.9 million km (1.2 million mi) to look for clouds. Afterwards, Cassini will turn its cameras back to the ring system to look for spokes once again . The next day, Cassini will acquire another observation of the ring system, this time obtaining a 15-frame, radial scan across the lit face of the main system.
On November 27, Cassini will image several of Saturn's small satellites including Janus, Pan, Pandora, and Pallene. On November 28, Cassini will take another look at Titan, looking for clouds across its sub-Saturn hemisphere, as well as more of Saturn's small moons including Telesto, Methone, Epimetheus, Pallene, and Atlas.
Cassini begins Rev95 on November 28. Rev95 includes a targeted encounter of Titan.
Image products created in Celestia. Tethys basemap by Steve Albers. All dates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).