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Cassini-Huygens Science From a Cat’s Perspective

Today the words Cassini-Huygens or Cassini will hit the news headlines is a big way. This will not be because of dramatic storms battering us here on Earth. No animals or people will be swept away by the final dramatic events unfolding close to Saturn, the true ‘Lord of the Rings’.

This is a challenging post to write, for us. We want to balance our excitement of the breathtaking human achievement drawing to a close. Our report gives an impression of why Cassini-Huygens matters. We have to try and, what we miss out, we urge you discover via our links to NASA.

How far has Cassini gone?
How far has Cassini gone? See that bitty dot marked Earth? That’s us, now look at Saturn. We can’t imagine the distance!

Wondering Why Cats are Blogging about Saturn and Science?

Let’s go back to the start of all this, 20 years ago. Because this is one of the most important reasons we are cheering the ‘little spacecraft that could’.  Co-operation and collaboration inspires the global science community, just as it does our pet blogging friends.

Cassini and Huygens (usually linked as Cassini-Huygens) data will be undertaken worldwide. This research will help science, and our humans, to understand where Planet Earth came from. It might even answer why we sit amongst the stars filled with wonder.

It could answer our questions like ‘what the heck is happening out there’? This determination to reach out and discover creative new ways of co-operating is the kind of attitude we love seeing amongst our world-wide blogging friends.

Cassini-Huygens spacecraft Travel plan
The travels of Cassini over the period 2004 to 2017

Why are We Cats Fussing Over Cassini-Huygens?

The Dash Kitten Crew will not be the only ones who will shed a few tears to see this amazing spacecraft fling itself head first into Saturn. It will be battling to keep its antenna pointed at Earth and transmitting critical new data about the planet until the very… last… second. Hard-headed scientists, astronomers, physicists, and those who love science will watch the clock count down until Cassini is no more. Most, even season space people, swallowing hard.

For a closer look at the spacecraft check here for an interactive model. You can swivel around and zoom closer into to appreciate a spaceship that was made 20 years ago and that we are bidding farewell to very soon.

How Did Science Know the Questions Cassini-Huygens Had to Answer 20 years ago?

The questions for Cassini-Huygens were formulated by hundreds of people. They were creating a spacecraft that would spend 20 years in space with home and the spacecraft’s creators back on Earth.

Always signalling, always measuring, always moving further from us and closer to Saturn, watched by cats and humans alike. The Cassini-Huygens project needed unparalleled co-operation. The work spanned disciplines we can barely understand (radio astronomy or astrophysics anyone?) but the results have allowed us to discover many things.

Cassini’s findings are also being shared worldwide, and the data is open to interpretation and discussion. Well, we cats have to keep our humans busy somehow – right?!

NASA/JPL has plenty of space info. here.

Yeah, we think this looks like a ball of yarn too! It’s Cassini’s orbits around Saturn! Image credit: Erick Sturm. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
  • NASA wants us all to celebrate Cassini and this visionary trip. There is a free ebook celebrating Saturn as seen through Cassini’s ‘eyes’, which can be downloaded here

A small army of admirers including the Dash Kitten Crew will bid farewell to a technological achievement that also takes a bit of our heart with us when it dives into Saturn for the last time. Science is amazing, even when we don’t understand all of it – we know in our hearts it really, really is.

picture of the Cassini spacecraft approaching Saturn
Close to the end of the mission for Cassini.
Figure of a woman with a Silver Tabby


Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can create impressive cat photographs and fun movies with the camera they carry.

She is a Professional Member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

24 thoughts on “Cassini-Huygens Science From a Cat’s Perspective”

  1. It is amazing what one small satellite has been able to accomplish. Though it is sad to see one mission end, surely, a new mission will soon begin. It will be really interesting to see what those last few moments will bring us. The universe is so vast and we are such a tiny, unique part of it. What will we learn next?

  2. Watching NASA spacecrafts travel and document over time is truly exciting. The fact that something was built over twenty years ago and the technology is still ticking away makes me wonder why I covet the iPhone 8. What’s wrong with the iPhone I have now? Thanks for covering this important story Silver Kitty and Marjorie! I wish the news would celebrate scientific achievements more.

  3. What a fun way to talk about Science from a cat’s perspective and then offering the results too. It is amazing that scientists had an idea of what to ask 20 years ago that would prove relevant today.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this! I saw a little blip on the news, but not nearly as interesting and informative as this was. Science is so interesting!

  5. So cool! Science is amazing and I am so thankful to those before us who had the forethought to conceptualize the items that we will need to be collecting data on today. I can’t plan tomorrow’s breakfast, so this concept is foreign to me personally.

    Thank you for sharing your excitement along with an overview on findings. What a cool nugget of history that’s about to ride into the sunset.

  6. What a fantastic post, love that you wrote about something I do not normally think about – bye bye Cassini and what a life you had

  7. You kitties did a wonderful job with this post. Although I knew about Cassini, I learned a LOT more from this post. The little spacecraft that could certainly did her job and then some. Thank you Cassini and farewell!

  8. Goodbye Cassini! You served well and introduced us to so much new knowledge. Science is amazing.

  9. Nice post. I had briefly heard about Cassini over the last couple of weeks, but your post was more in depth then what I have heard so far. NASA has some incredible missions.

  10. That is quite incredible! I am curious to learn ‘what is out there.’ Thank you for sharing this post. I’m downloading the ebook to show my father – he loves astronomy and drove to TN to see the ‘total’ eclipse.

  11. Wow I had no idea about Cassini either. One I didn’t realize NASA was attempting to reach Saturn and second, who knew a mission was intended to last 20 years. The things we as humans try to accomplish in science (and otherwise) always amazes me. Thanks for sharing this interesting post.

  12. This is SUPER cool, thanks for sharing it! I love when we collaborate internationally on anything and this is really special. I honestly can’t believe any spacecraft lasted for 20 years out there, pretty amazing!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  13. Wow! We’re impressed! Science kitties – we never knew! All kidding aside, this is very exciting news. Thank you for sharing about Cassini.

  14. Gosh,
    My Mommy is a bit of an astronomy geek. She has been interested in Cassini since it first started to broadcast. And the images…WOW! Especially Jupiter’s Big Spot!!
    And seems as Mommy is fighting bacterial invaders right now, she is particularly impressed that NASA scientists are distroying Cassini to avoid contaminating Saturn’s Moons with Earth Microbes!
    Many Purrs

  15. Astronomy’s always been a passion of mine. I’m embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t heard this was happening until I read the post. What wonderful feats of science we can accomplish with just a little cooperation and good humor.

  16. I was really up on this but I bet Pop was. At one time he wanted to be an astronaut and follows these missions very closely. We heard it disintegrated this morning. We’ll go back after Pop comes home and watch the links together.

  17. Great post on Cassini! I’ve just watched the final moments of the mission. What a bittersweet time. I wonder what amazing things we will learn from those last bits of data from the atmosphere…

  18. Great post! I hadn’t really heard about this until you highlighted it, but will watch in on the stream from NASA. So much time and effort and it all comes to an end in a sort of bang. Those guys will have such mixed feelings about this I would think. I really hope we get some life changing data to help improve humanity.

  19. We heard about Cassini on the TV news yesterday. They said that scientists are going to need more that 10 years to analyze all datas that Cassini sent to them ! Amazing ! Purrs

  20. That truly is interesting!
    Sorry that you had to sacrifice yourself, Cassini.

  21. We are always excited by things in space and we are awestruck by Cassini. It is sad that its end is so near, but oh what a life it had.


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