Astrophiz 43: Cassini’s #GrandFinale Legacy

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As two of 30 very lucky Astrogeeks, Andrew P Street and Brendan were guests of the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex on Friday 15 September 2017 to witness first hand the #GrandFinale of the astonishing 20 year Cassini Mission to Saturn.

In this episode:
With permission, we read Andrew P Street’s great article published in the Guardian the next day. 

Then Dr Ian Musgrave and I discuss my awed impressions of this amazing night at Tidbinbilla CDSCC as a guest of CSIRO/NASA, and my new understanding of the importance and capabilities of the 3 NASA/JPL Deep Space Network earth stations at Goldstone USA, Madrid Spain and Tidbinbilla Australia. Ian recounts some of Cassini’s iconic achievements.

For observers and astrophotographers, Ian continues with ‘What’s Up Doc’ and tells us when, where and what to look for in morning and evening skies. In Ian’s Tangent, Ian helps us understand why the end of the Cassini Mission was such an emotional event compared with other famous missions.

For Aurora Hunters, we include the spooky sounds of Saturn’s aurorae, as captured by Cassini.

In the news:
1. In many previous episodes we have talked about how the sheer enormity of radio telescope data caches presents challenges for effective analysis. Today we quote from a review of the ‘ Big Data Boom’ in Nature Astronomy by Professor Ray Norris, School of Computing, Engineering, & Maths, Western Sydney University.

2. We report on the May 2018 launch of the NASA InSight Mission to Mars

3. Japanese researchers crack the code of Supermassive Black hole evolution.

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