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Target 3: Saturn

Target 3: Saturn

Estelle Deau

Rings Scientist

Computer simulation of Target 3: Saturn
Software used by the Cassini science planning team simulates the field of view the cameras on board the Cassini spacecraft can capture at a specific date and time. This is a computer-generated image of Saturn as seen by the Cassini spacecraft's Wide Angle Camera on Sept. 22, 2011.
+ Click on the image for a larger view

Hi, I'm Estelle and I'm a ring scientist at JPL.

I think number 3 is the most interesting target.

Even though my favorite feature - the beautiful rings of Saturn - will not be visible, there are many things we want to learn from Saturn.

Just like Jupiter, Saturn is a gas giant with bands of clouds in its upper atmosphere.

The seasons on Saturn are extremely long because a full orbit of Saturn around the sun is almost 30 years.

After seven years orbiting Saturn, Cassini is finally witnessing a new season - and new exciting exploring opportunities.

One thing that interests scientists is how storms on Saturn form, and how they evolve.

For the first part of the Cassini mission, we could only see storms in the southern hemisphere, like the 'Dragon Storm.'

Now, because of the new season, the shadows of Saturn's rings are projected onto the southern hemisphere.

Scientists are excited to be able to finally observe storms in the northern hemisphere, like the very spectacular 'Serpent Storm,' which lasted several months.

With this observation, the Wide Angle Camera on board Cassini will image Saturn with different colored filters.

Even if there is no storm, the resulting color image will be part of the continuous monitoring of Saturn's atmosphere.

Target 3 will allow scientists to identify the conditions that favor the creation of a storm at a particular location in Saturn's atmosphere.

I like target 3 because it gives us a chance to oberve a storm on Saturn.

I think target 3 is the best choice. Good luck!