This view, seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, shows Saturn's daylit side, which no Earth-based telescope could capture. A spacecraft in orbit, like Cassini, can capture stunning scenes that would be impossible from our home planet.
Sunlight truly has come to Saturn's north pole. The whole northern region is bathed in sunlight in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, late 2016, feeble though the light may be at Saturn's distant domain in the solar system.
This collage of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn's northern hemisphere and rings as viewed with four different spectral filters; each is sensitive to different wavelengths of light and reveals clouds and hazes at different altitudes.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured Saturn's north polar region displaying its beautiful bands and swirls. Where they meet and flow past each other, the bands' interactions produce many eddies and swirls.
This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft showcases some of the amazingly detailed structure of Saturn's rings. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 24, 2016.
Saturn appears as a serene globe amid tranquil rings in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. In reality, the planet's atmosphere is an ever-changing scene of high-speed winds and evolving weather patterns, punctuated by occasional large storms.
Saturn's clouds are full of raw beauty, but they also represent a playground for a branch of physics called fluid dynamics, which seeks to understand the motion of gases and liquids. This image is from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks down at the rings of Saturn from above the planet's nightside. The darkened globe of Saturn is seen here at lower right, along with the shadow it casts across the rings.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward the brilliant disk of Saturn, surrounded by the icy lanes of its rings. Faint wisps of cloud are visible in the atmosphere. At bottom, ring shadows trace delicate, curving lines across the planet.
This frame from a movie is one of many exposures taken by NASA's Cassnii spacecraft. Cassini stared at Saturn for nearly 44 hours on April 25 to 27, 2016, to obtain exposures showing just over four Saturn days. A movie is available at the Photojournal.
This view captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn's northern hemisphere in 2016, as that part of the planet nears its northern hemisphere summer solstice in May 2017. Saturn's year is nearly 30 Earth years long.
Saturn's shadow stretched beyond the edge of its rings for many years after NASA's Cassini first arrived at Saturn, casting an ever-lengthening shadow that reached its maximum extent at the planet's 2009 equinox. This image was captured in 2015.
An ethereal, glowing spot appears on Saturn's B ring in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The glowing effect is an example of an 'opposition surge' making that area on the rings appear extra bright.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this image of Saturn as it views the planet and its expansive rings from all sorts of angles. Here, a half-lit Saturn sits askew as tiny Dione looks on from lower left.