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Cassini orbiter sampling intersellar dust, illustration

Cassini orbiter sampling intersellar dust, illustration

C034/1085

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Credit

NASA / JPL-CATECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CATECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Computer illustration of the Cassini orbiter sampling interstellar dust (pink). The majority of dust sampled by the spacecraft originated from active jets on Saturn's moon Enceladus. However, some of the sampled dust was shown to have originated in interstellar space. The joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched in 1997 and took seven years to reach Saturn and its moons. The Huygens probe separated from Cassini on 25th December 2004, and descended to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The Cassini orbiter continued orbiting Saturn; studying its atmosphere and rings and performing flybys of its moons.

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