One Last Peek

The Cassini spacecraft took this wide-angle view of Saturn on 28 October, 2016, when it was about 1.4 million km from the planet. The spacecraft has spent 13 years exploring Saturn and its moons, but its mission will end on Friday when its final orbit takes it into the planet’s atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA

Looking Up Toward Saturn’s Rings

Before Cassini‘s Grand Finale orbits, all images of Saturn’s ring system had been taken from the outside looking in. The spacecraft’s final series of orbits is taking it on paths between the rings and the planet’s upper atmosphere. Images from the Cassini spacecraft pass beneath Saturn’s rings on 20 August have been stitched together to show how the rings appear from below. Details of the complex rings are evident as the time-lapse sequence begins, and the thinness of the rings becomes apparent near the end.

Video Credit: NASA