October 15, 2012 - Interplanetary Weather Forecast

Interplanetary Weather Forecast The Cassini spacecraft began its remarkable mission to Saturn fifteen years ago this week. Following its launch, Cassini flew by Venus (twice), Earth, the Moon, the asteroid Masursky, and Jupiter, all the while gaining speed and refining its course for its final destination, Saturn, which it reached in July 2004. The spacecraft, named for the astronomer who discovered four of Saturn’s moons as well as the largest gap in its ring system, has spent the intervening years thoroughly investigating Saturn, its myriad moons, and its intricate ring system. Because it is a relatively permanent observer of Saturn now, Cassini is always in a prime spot to report back on notable weather disturbances, like this storm system that wrapped itself around the planet in early 2011.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Weekly Calendar

October 15-21, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 15

New Moon 8:02 AM ET

1829: Asaph Hall born
1997: Cassini-Huygens launched
2003: Shenzhou 5 launched, Yang Liwei becomes first Chinese astronaut

Moon phase Tuesday 16

Moon at perigee
Mercury 1.3° south of Moon

Moon phase Wednesday 17

Moon phase Thursday 18

Mars 2° south of Moon

1967: Venera 4 makes first direct studies of Venus’s atmosphere
1989: STS-34 Atlantis launched
1993: STS-58 Columbia launched
2003: ISS Expedition 8 crew launched

Moon phase Friday 19

1910: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar born
1967: Mariner 5 flies past Venus
2005: Final Titan IV rocket launched

Moon phase Saturday 20

Astronomy Day (Fall)

Pluto 0.08° north of Moon
Mars 4° north of Antares

1970: Zond 8 launched
1995: STS-73 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 21

First Quarter Moon 11:32 PM ET
Orionid meteor shower

1923: First public planetarium show, Deutsches Museum in Munich
: Hubble Heritage Project website launched
2008: Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe launched

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