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NASA Cassini Titan Flyby on Dec 1, 2013

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2013

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T-96: Peering at the North

During the inbound wing of this close Titan flyby, the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) instrument will ride along with the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) to acquire a medium-resolution mosaic of high northern latitudes, including Titan's leading hemisphere, which has not yet been well observed. It will also look for clouds over the North Pole to monitor the evolution of the cloud system as Titan approaches summer solstice. VIMS will also look for specular reflection in an area located to the east of Ara Fluctus, between latitudes 53 N and 48 N and between longitudes 130 W - 163 W.

During closest approach VIMS will first acquire a high resolution map of the northern seas and lakes. It will then acquire a high-resolution swath over terrain from high northern latitudes to the equator along the western edge of Xanadu. Then, at the end of its prime observation, VIMS will stare at Ontario Lacus (72.5 S, 182.5 W), which will be on the terminator. VIMS will then ride along with CIRS and UVIS to image Titan's southern hemisphere. It will also look at clouds to follow the evolution of the cloud system over the south pole.

Titan Flyby at a Glance

Date Dec 1. 14, 2013 [SCET]

Altitude 870 miles (1,400 kilometers)

Speed 13,000 mph (5.9 km/sec)

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