All set for Saturn
By Oli Usher, on 19 June 2015
The Cassini probe launched in October 1997 and arrived in the Saturn system in July 2004. Its Huygens lander touched down on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in December 2004. The photo above shows the spacecraft shortly before launch.
More than a decade on, the probe is still sending back data, teaching us about Saturn and its moons.
One of the instruments on board, the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) was designed in part by Prof Andrew Coates at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory. This week, he has published new research based on data from his instrument.
He has found that the interaction between the Sun, magnetic field lines and the atmosphere of Titan – Saturn’s oddly Earth-like moon – behaves similarly to what we observe here on Earth.