37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 10 Cassini II
Invited, Monday, September 5, 2005, 4:20-5:35pm, Music Concert Hall

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[10.03] Cassini Imaging Science: One Year in Saturn Orbit

C.C. Porco (CICLOPS/SSI), Cassini Imaging Team

Since arriving at Saturn on July 1, 2004 (UTC), the Cassini imaging experiment has collected ~ 35,000 images of Saturn and its rings and moons. The vast majority of these images were pre-planned; a few were acquired as `retargetted' observations to take advantage of Cassini discoveries and improved knowledge in the orbital positions of targets of interest. The spacecraft's initial orbits were near-equatorial and permitted extended monitoring of the Saturn atmosphere and close flybys of Saturn's moons, including Titan. These opportunities have yielded higher resolution imaging data than that achieved by Voyager on the planet and moons in the inner satellite system. Beginning May 2005, the spacecraft's orbital inclination was increased to permit an extended period of ring viewing. As a result, we now also have high resolution images of the rings and ring-region moons, like Atlas and Pan, and so far have discovered one new ring-embedded moon, S/2005 S1, in the Keeler gap.

The imaging highlights from year one of this major exploratory investigation of the Saturn system will be presented.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.