NewsFix in Space: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft plunges into Saturn; largest solar flare of decade recorded

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Data pix.

And now... it's time once again for NewsFix in Space!

Today's adventure takes us to the ringed planet of Saturn, where it's time to say goodbye to NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

"The signal from the spacecraft has gone, and within the next 45 seconds, so will be the spacecraft," NASA's Cassini project manager Earl Maize announced, just before signing off for the final time.

Yep, after launching two decades ago, Cassini was almost out of fuel — and to avoid a possible collision (and contamination) with one of Saturn's 16 moons — the Cassini team based in Pasadena, California decided to let the mission end with a suicidal plunge into the planet.

Cassini's legacy is one of amazing discoveries like new knowledge of how life could exist on the icy moon Enceladus and the largest moon, Titan.

And thanks to Cassini, we saw Saturn's rings like never before!

But, all good things must come to an end, and that's why NASA decided to crash Cassini right into Saturn itself.

What a party crasher! Well, goodbye, Cassini. We'll never forget you...

That's a real crash and burn!

Finally, check out this massive solar flare captured by NASA earlier this week.

You don't have to worry about that hot energy coming to earth.

But NASA says it's the strongest solar flare recorded in over a decade!

The space agency says the sun has been extremely active this month, too.

Some folks wonder if solar flares can effect our weather on earth.

Then again, maybe we do need to worry about that!

Until next time, keep watching the skies— and keep watching NewsFix in Space!


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