On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA's Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings, and, in the background, our home planet, Earth.
The area within Saturn's north polar hexagon is shown by NASA's Cassini spacecraft to contain myriad storms of various sizes, not the least of which is the remarkable and imposing vortex situated over the planet's north pole.
The shadows of Saturn's rings edge ever farther southward as Saturn creeps towards southern winter (or northern summer). Saturn is now almost exactly halfway between its equinox (August 2009) and southern winter solstice (in May 2017).
NASA's Cassini spacecraft takes full advantage of the sunlight to capture these amazing views of the north polar hexagon and myriad storms, large and small, that comprise the weather systems in the polar region.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn's shadow cutting sharply across its rings as the orbits of ring particles carry them suddenly from day to night. With no atmosphere to scatter light, shadows in space are much darker than we're used to here on Earth.
Ghostly spokes in Saturn's B ring continue to put on a show for NASA's Cassini spacecraft cameras in this recent image. The spokes, believed to be a seasonal phenomenon, are expected to disappear as Saturn nears its northern hemisphere summer.
Dawn on Saturn is greeted across the vastness of interplanetary space by the morning star, Venus, in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Venus appears just off the edge of the planet directly above the white streak of Saturn's G ring.
Saturn's north polar hexagon basks in the Sun's light now that spring has come to the northern hemisphere. Many smaller storms dot the north polar region and Saturn's signature rings put in an appearance in the background.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft simultaneously peers through the haze in Titan's equatorial region down to its surface and captures the vortex of clouds hovering over its south pole just to the right of the terminator on the moon's dark side.
Saturn's small moons Atlas, Prometheus, and Epimetheus keep each other company in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft of the planet's night side. It seems fitting that they should do so since in Greek mythology, their namesakes were brothers.
Janus is spotted over Saturn's north pole in this image while Mimas' shadow glides across Saturn in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Janus is the faint dot that appears just above Saturn's north pole.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit.
Saturn's B ring is spread out in all its glory in this image from NASA'S Cassini spacecraft. Scientists are trying to better understand the origin and nature of the various structures seen in the B ring.
Although Mimas holds the unofficial designation of 'Death Star moon,' Tethys is seen here also vaguely resembling the space station from Star Wars. Apparently, Tethys doesn't want Mimas to have all the fun!