Recent data from NASA could reveal mysteries about Saturn's moon Dione.
According to Universe Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently reported that the Cassini spacecraft made its final pass around Saturn’s moon Dione.
The Cassini spacecraft has studied Saturn and its numerous natural satellites since it arrival there in 2004, and it has made its close pass to Dione four times since then.
According to Bonnie Buratti, a member of Cassini science team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, “Dione has been an enigma, giving hints of active geologic processes, including a transient atmosphere and evidence of ice volcanoes. However, we have by no means discovered the smoking gun”.
Currently, the mission of the Cassini spacecraft is to locate evidence which could prove that there is geological activity on the Dione. NASA is expected to release images from the flyby soon. The most recent flyby will hopefully help NASA scientists learn about Dione’s internal composition. Another exciting element of the research will be a comparison between the composition of Dione, and Saturn’s other moons. This is because NASA has already discovered that Titan and Enceladus can have oceans beneath their surfaces.
According to Scott Edgington, a team member in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, this could the last chance for researchers to observe Dione up close for the foreseeable future.