Astronomy Day: Saturday, May 20th — Cassini’s Mission to Saturn and Fiery Final Dive

Astronomy Day: Saturday, May 20th — Cassini’s Mission to Saturn and Fiery Final Dive

20 years ago, the (unmanned!) Cassini probe was launched on a mission to Saturn. It encountered the amazing ringed giant and orbited outside the rings for 13 years, but now Cassini has begun the final portion of its mission: a series of daring dives in between the rings and the planet itself. This new and dangerous phase of Cassini’s mission began on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, and will end with Cassini becoming a meteor as it enters Saturn’s atmosphere and sends back data until its destruction as a fireball in September, 2017. That’s assuming it doesn’t get “taken out” by a stray chunk of ring material first! Come learn about what Cassini has seen on its mission to this gorgeous and exotic astronomical body, and play with the temporary and fun “gravity vortex” traveling demonstration: test your own marble “moons” in different orbits as they spiral into “Saturn”!