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Mind-blowing images of space from the Cassini orbiter [Yahoo News] 27 Apr, 2017
Mind-blowing images of space from the Cassini orbiter Photos - ABC News
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • Over the past 19 years, the Cassini orbiter has explored Saturn and its complex system of rings and moons. On Sept. 15, 2017, after its final orbit, Cassini will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere, burn up like a meteor, and become part of the planet itself. In order to avoid the unlikely possibility of Cassini someday colliding with one of these moons, NASA has chosen to safely dispose of the spacecraft in the atmosphere of Saturn. <br></br>The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • Few sights in the solar system are more strikingly beautiful than softly hued Saturn embraced by the shadows of its stately rings. The gas planet's subtle northward gradation from gold to azure is a striking visual effect that scientists don't fully understand. Current thinking says that it may be related to seasonal influences, tied to the cold temperatures in the northern (winter) hemisphere. Despite Cassini's revelations, Saturn remains a world of mystery.
    NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
  • Images taken during the Cassini spacecraft's orbital insertion on June 30 show definite compositional variation within Saturn's rings.
    NASA/JPL/University of Colorado
  • A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. <br></br> Titan, Saturn's largest moon, measures 3,200 miles across and is larger than the planet Mercury. Cassini scientists have been watching the moon's south pole since a vortex appeared in its atmosphere in 2012.
  • This image of the northern polar region of Saturn shows both the aurora and underlying atmosphere, seen at two different wavelengths of infrared light as captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
    NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
  • In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. <br></br> Earth, which is 898 million miles away in this image, appears as a blue dot at center right.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • Although solid-looking in many images, Saturn's rings are actually translucent. In this picture, we can glimpse the shadow of the rings on the planet through (and below) the A and C rings themselves, towards the lower right hand corner.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • This image was taken on November 30, 2010, 1.4 years after southern autumnal equinox. The shadow of the body of Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, on the lower portions of the jets is clearly seen.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • This near-infrared color mosaic from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the sun glinting off of Titan's north polar seas. While Cassini has captured views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off of them in the past, this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho
  • The F ring shepherd Pandora is captured here along with other well-known examples of how Saturn's moons shape the rings. From the narrow F ring, to the gaps in the A ring, to the Cassini Division, Saturn's rings are a masterpiece of gravitational sculpting by the moons. The image was taken on March 8, 2014.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • 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. (The sun is behind the planet, which is shielding the cameras from direct sunlight.)
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • These two false-color views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show detailed patterns that change during one Saturn day within the huge storm in the planet's northern hemisphere. Taken about 11 hours -- or one Saturn day -- apart, these mosaics consist of 48 images each. The top mosaic was taken earlier than the bottom mosaic. Both mosaics were captured on Aug. 7, 2011, and each of the two batches of images was taken over about 2.5 hours.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
  • Specially designed Cassini orbits place Earth and Cassini on opposite sides of Saturn's rings, a geometry known as occultation. Cassini conducted the first radio occultation observation of Saturn's rings on May 3, 2005. <br></br> Cassini's final plunge into Saturn's atmosphere is a truly spectacular end for one of the most scientifically rich voyages yet undertaken in our solar system, according to NASA.


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