Porco, C. and the Cassini Imaging Team (2004). "Cassini Imaging Science at Saturn: First Results on Saturn's Atmosphere, Rings and Moons." Eos Trans. AGU 85(28), West. Pac. Geophys. Meet. Suppl., Abstract P12A-01 I.


Abstract

Cassini Imaging Science observations of Saturn and its rings and moons began in early February 2004 on approach to the planet, five months before its scheduled orbit insertion on July 1, 2004 UTC. Approach observations consist of repeated multi-spectral `movie' sequences of Saturn and its rings, image sequences designed to search for previously unseen satellites between the outer edge of the ring system and the orbit of Hyperion, images of known satellites for orbit refinement, and repeated multi-spectral `movie' sequences of Titan to detect and track clouds (for wind field measurements) and to map its surface at an image scale of 45 km/pixel. Extensive global and high resolution observations (up to 20 m/pixel) are planned of Phoebe during Cassini's 2000-km close flyby of this outer moon on June 11, 2004. Phoebe is of special interest as this may be our first close look at a primitive body from the outer solar system, perhaps related to Kuiper Belt objects. During Saturn Orbit Insertion, the highest resolution images of the rings obtained during the whole orbital tour (about 100 m/pixel) will be acquired of the unilluminated side of the rings. Immediately after orbit insertion, imaging sequences are planned during Cassini's first Titan flyby, on July 2 UTC, from a close approach distance of 350,000 km, yielding an image scale of 2 km/pixel on the South polar region. In mid-July, we will acquire images at Voyager resolution (about 20 km/pixel) of the unseen side of Iapetus. The highlights of these observation sequences will be presented.