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Stunning views like this image of Saturn's night side are only possible thanks to our robotic emissaries like NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.
Stunning views like this image of Saturn's night side are only possible thanks to our robotic emissaries like NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

Goodbye to the Dark Side

This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn. Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth when the image was taken.
This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn. Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth when the image was taken.

Earth Between the Rings of Saturn

This image shows a region in Saturn's outer B ring. NASA's Cassini spacecraft viewed this area at a level of detail twice as high as it had ever been observed before. And from this view, it is clear that there are still finer details to uncover.
This image shows a region in Saturn's outer B ring. NASA's Cassini spacecraft viewed this area at a level of detail twice as high as it had ever been observed before. And from this view, it is clear that there are still finer details to uncover.

Saturn's B Ring, Finer Than Ever

This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows a wave structure in Saturn's rings known as the Janus 2:1 spiral density wave.
This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows a wave structure in Saturn's rings known as the Janus 2:1 spiral density wave.

Staggering Structure

Enceladus' intriguing south-polar jets are viewed by NASA's Cassini spacecraft from afar, backlit by sunlight while the moon itself glows softly in reflected Saturn-shine.
Enceladus' intriguing south-polar jets are viewed by NASA's Cassini spacecraft from afar, backlit by sunlight while the moon itself glows softly in reflected Saturn-shine.

Jets from a Distance

This graphic illustrates how Cassini scientists think water interacts with rock at the bottom of the ocean of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, producing hydrogen gas.
This graphic illustrates how Cassini scientists think water interacts with rock at the bottom of the ocean of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, producing hydrogen gas.

Enceladus Hydrothermal Activity

These turbulent clouds are on top of the world at Saturn. NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this view of Saturn's north pole on April 26, 2017, the day it began its Grand Finale.
These turbulent clouds are on top of the world at Saturn. NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this view of Saturn's north pole on April 26, 2017, the day it began its Grand Finale.

Top of the World

The north polar area of Enceladus, seen in this image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is heavily cratered, an indication that the surface has not been renewed since quite long ago. But the south polar region shows signs of intense geologic activity
The north polar area of Enceladus, seen in this image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is heavily cratered, an indication that the surface has not been renewed since quite long ago. But the south polar region shows signs of intense geologic activity

North Pole of Enceladus

NASA's Cassini spacecraft bids farewell to Saturn's yin-and-yang moon, Iapetus. This image is from the last set of observations Cassini made of this world of striking contrasts.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft bids farewell to Saturn's yin-and-yang moon, Iapetus. This image is from the last set of observations Cassini made of this world of striking contrasts.

Farewell to Iapetus

This image of Saturn's rings was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.
This image of Saturn's rings was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.

Finale Ringscape

Saturn's active, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus sinks behind the giant planet in a farewell portrait from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This view of Enceladus was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017.
Saturn's active, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus sinks behind the giant planet in a farewell portrait from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This view of Enceladus was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017.

Enceladus Setting Behind Saturn (Image & Movie)

Recent images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft show features in Saturn's C ring called 'plateaus' revealing a streaky texture that is very different from the textures of the regions around them.
Recent images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft show features in Saturn's C ring called 'plateaus' revealing a streaky texture that is very different from the textures of the regions around them.

More Textures in the C Ring

This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Cassini's best image of the propeller feature known informally as Bleriot. Bleriot is the largest of the propellers in Saturn's rings.
This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Cassini's best image of the propeller feature known informally as Bleriot. Bleriot is the largest of the propellers in Saturn's rings.

Bleriot Propeller Close-up

This montage of views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows three of Saturn's small ring moons: Atlas (top), Daphnis (middle) and Pan (bottom) at the same scale for ease of comparison.
This montage of views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows three of Saturn's small ring moons: Atlas (top), Daphnis (middle) and Pan (bottom) at the same scale for ease of comparison.

Small Wonders

NASA's Cassini spacecraft sees bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn's moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft sees bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn's moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.

Northern Summer on Titan

These two images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show how the spacecraft's perspective changed as it passed within 15,300 miles (24,600 kilometers) of Saturn's moon Pan on March 7, 2017, Cassini's closest encounter.
These two images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show how the spacecraft's perspective changed as it passed within 15,300 miles (24,600 kilometers) of Saturn's moon Pan on March 7, 2017, Cassini's closest encounter.

Pan Revealed

Rhea emerges after being occulted by the larger moon Titan in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Rhea emerges after being occulted by the larger moon Titan in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Reappearing Rhea

Cassini obtained this panoramic view of Saturn's rings on Sept. 9, 2017, just minutes after it passed through the ring plane. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.
Cassini obtained this panoramic view of Saturn's rings on Sept. 9, 2017, just minutes after it passed through the ring plane. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

Inside-Out Rings: View From Beneath

This view of Saturn's A ring features a lone 'propeller,' one of many such features created by small moonlets embedded in the rings as they attempt, unsuccessfully, to open gaps in the ring material, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017.
This view of Saturn's A ring features a lone 'propeller,' one of many such features created by small moonlets embedded in the rings as they attempt, unsuccessfully, to open gaps in the ring material, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017.

Lone Propeller

This image of Saturn's northern hemisphere was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.
This image of Saturn's northern hemisphere was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.

Saturn: Before the Plunge

This approximate natural-color image from NASA's Voyager 2 shows Saturn, its rings, and four of its icy satellites. Three satellites Tethys, Dione, and Rhea are visible against the darkness of space.
This approximate natural-color image from NASA's Voyager 2 shows Saturn, its rings, and four of its icy satellites. Three satellites Tethys, Dione, and Rhea are visible against the darkness of space.

Saturn and 4 Icy Moons in Natural Color

Saturn looms in the foreground of this mosaic of Cassini images, taken by the spacecraft on May 28, 2017. The planet is adorned by ring shadows. The icy rings emerge from behind the planet. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.
Saturn looms in the foreground of this mosaic of Cassini images, taken by the spacecraft on May 28, 2017. The planet is adorned by ring shadows. The icy rings emerge from behind the planet. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

Inside-Out Rings: Over the Limb

NASA's Cassini spacecraft examines the rough dark-light dichotomy of the terrain on Saturn's moon Iapetus. Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side of Iapetus.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft examines the rough dark-light dichotomy of the terrain on Saturn's moon Iapetus. Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side of Iapetus.

Iapetus' Puzzling Surface

Saturn's moon Prometheus casts a shadow near a streamer-channel created by the moon in the thin F ring in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft about a month after the planet's August 2009 equinox.
Saturn's moon Prometheus casts a shadow near a streamer-channel created by the moon in the thin F ring in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft about a month after the planet's August 2009 equinox.

Shadow Between the Shepherds

The Cassini spacecraft looks toward Rhea's cratered, icy landscape with the dark line of Saturn's ringplane and the planet's murky atmosphere as a background. Rhea is Saturn's second-largest moon, at 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across.
The Cassini spacecraft looks toward Rhea's cratered, icy landscape with the dark line of Saturn's ringplane and the planet's murky atmosphere as a background. Rhea is Saturn's second-largest moon, at 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across.

Icy Profile

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