Highland Road Park Observatory

CASSINI’S GRAND FINALE

Friday 15 September
4:30 am to 7:30 am
No admission fee. For all ages.

It has highlighted our lives for over a decade—providing unprecedented images of the Saturnian system. It has been the source of inspiration and imagination for millions of Americans and other Earthlings. Now we say goodbye as it sacrifices itself to prevent any potential cross-contamination of microbial life. Join us for Cassini’s swan song…

EARLIER MILESTONES

  • 9 Sep, time TBA = final dive through gap between Saturn♄ and rings. 1680 kilometers above cloud tops.
  • 11 Sep, 2:04 pm = final (and distant) Titan flyby. 119,049 kilometers above Titan’s surface.
  • 12 Sep, 12:27 am = “apoapse” (farthest point in orbit from Saturn♄). 1.3 million kilometers from Saturn♄.
  • 14 Sep, 2:58 pm = scheduled time of final image by Cassini’s cameras.
  • 14 Sep, 3:22 pm = Cassini turns antenna to Earth♁. Communications link now continuous until end of mission.
  • 14 Sep, 4:45 pm = Earth♁ receives first of communications link.
  • 14 Sep, 10:15 pm = Deep Space Network (Canberra) tracks Cassini.
  • 15 Sep, 2:14 am = Cassini begins five-minute roll to point INMS for sample of Saturn♄’s atmosphere.

POTENTIAL VIEWING TARGETS

  • 4:30 am to 5:00 am = Perseus Double Cluster
  • 4:30 am to 5:15 am = Orion Nebula
  • 4:30 am to 5:30 am = Uranus♅
  • 4:30 am to 6:15 am = Pleiades
  • 4:30 am to 6:45 am = waning crescent Moon
  • 4:45 am to 5:15 am = Ceres
  • 5:30 am to 7:30 am = gibbous Venus♀

MAIN FLOOR SCHEDULE

  • 5:31 am = announcement that Cassini begins atmospheric entry. Thrusters at 10% capacity.
  • 5:32 am = announcement that Cassini’s antenna points away from Earth♁. Thrusters at 100% capacity; loss of signal; destruction of craft.
  • 6:00 am to 7:30 am = live feed from NASA begins
  • 6:54 am = Earth♁ receives confirmation of begin of atmospheric entry
  • 6:55 am = Earth♁ receives confirmation of death of Cassini

COSTS

  • Telescope Viewing: $0.00
  • Binocular Checkout (until 7am): $0.00
  • Rocket Range Bid: $1.00 to $24.00 (depending on last bid)
  • HRPO T-Shirts: $6.25 (assorted colors)
  • Metal Earth Model Kits: $10.00 to $22.00

RESOURCES

PLEASE REMEMBER…
There will be no Friday Night Lecture Series or Evening Sky Viewing the night of 15 September.

Cassini's Grand Finale

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Created by Frederick J. Barnett on Friday, September 1, 2017, 01:11 PM.