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Titan Flyby (T-89): Cassini’s Continuing Search for Subsurface Oceans

Titan Flyby (T-89): Cassini’s Continuing Search for Subsurface Oceans

Feb. 17, 2013

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Map of Titan
  This map of Saturn’s moon Titan identifies the locations of mountains that have been named by the International Astronomical Union. By convention, mountains on Titan are named for mountains from Middle-earth, the fictional setting in fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien.
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T-89: Cassini’s Continuing Search for Subsurface Oceans

On Feb. 17, 2013 (Feb. 16, 5:57 p.m. PST), the Cassini spacecraft performed a gravity-measuring flyby of Titan, one of only four in the entire Solstice mission.

During the Solstice mission, a main science objective was to measure Titan’s gravitational field in order to confirm or deny the presence of an underground ocean. Additional radio science (RSS) gravity observations are needed both to answer this question and to help determine if Titan’s crust is thick and rigid, or thin.

Titan Flyby at a Glance
Feb. 17, 2013 [SCET]

1,229 miles (1,978 kilometers)

13,000 mph (5.8 km/sec)

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