Cassini Mission

Cassini will go into orbit around the second-largest planet in our solar system, and return an array of images.

Like Galileo, it will carry a probe, named after Christian Huygens, who first sketched the true shape of Saturn's rings.

The Huygens probe is targeted at Titan-the moon with clouds of brown, organic smog...




Heidi Hammel
Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO

One thing that we all care about is the weather. And we care about the weather on the Earth the most. But what makes weather is gases and clouds. And the reason the weather on the Earth is hard to predict is because we have oceans and continents that interact with our atmosphere. That makes it very hard to predict the weather, as we all know.

But if you take a planet like Jupiter or Neptune, you don't have continents and you don't have oceans, all you have is gas, all you have is atmosphere. And therefore it's a lot easier to model the weather on those planets. But it's the same physical process. It's the same kind of thing happening whether it happens on the Earth or Neptune.

Therefore by studying weather on Neptune we learn about weather in general, and that helps us understand the weather on Earth better.