It’s Friday, February 13, 2015, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!
Cassini Solstice Mission
Age Range: All (children with parental supervision)
This NASA website from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology will take visitors to the far reaches of space and on virtual tours of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and its tiny moon, Enceladus. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn in July 2004 and, along with the European-built Huygens probe, opened a window into a world never seen before.
When arriving at the website, it might be beneficial to browse through the information available in the “About Saturn & Its Moons” section available on the right sidebar. In the dropdown menu under About Saturn & Its Moons, select “Titan”. When arriving at this page, read over the introduction then hover your mouse over the topics in the image for more information. Next, select the “Titan Virtual Tour” tab and click the text link “Launch Saturn Moons Explorer: Titan” to begin your tour. A new window will open and an Overview video will play. When you are done watching the video, select the “3D Globe” link under the screen to explore the following surface features:
- Impact Crater
- Huygens Landing Site
- Drainage Channels
- Northern Lakes
- The Smile
- Ice Volcano
- Titan’s Sierras
The images come in a variety of types: radar, visible, composite, and/or infrared. Return to the selection by clicking “back to 3D Map”. Choose the “Quick Facts” option for basic information about Titan or select “Latest Images” for more images of Titan. Click the small “find out more” text link at the bottom of the window for links to other sites relating to the Cassini Solstice Mission.
When you are done with the tour, close the window and return to main page to continue learning about Titan. Choose the Atmosphere, Surface, Science Objectives, or Publications tabs for details about Titan and the Cassini mission. Select the Image Galley tab for a visual interactive tool for more images.
On the sidebar select the Videos & More option for loads of videos, an interactive timeline, printables, and to access another virtual tour for the Enceladus virtual tour. Similarly presented and navigated through as the Titan tour, visitors will explore the following location on Enceladus:
- Tiger Strips
- Transitional Terrain
- Cratered Terrain
- Modified Craters
- Icy Riffs
- Southern Polar Terrain
After finishing your tours and exploring all that this website has to offer, don’t forget to check out the Education section on the sidebar for loads of materials, lessons, and resources for your classroom. If you know someone interested in astronomy, particularly Saturn, this website is a down-to-earth resource for an out-of this world study.