Cassini has been out there hard at work for a long time. The Saturn probe departed Earth in 1997 and spent seven years speeding across the solar system to arrive in orbit around the ringed planet in 2004.
For over 13 years, it’s been up there collecting data with an array of spectrometers, magnetometers, radars, and yes, cameras.
While all these types of data are valuable to scientists, it’s the images Cassini has been sending back down to Earth that has given the world a much more intimate acquaintance with the beloved ringed planet.
And they’re not just about showing us its pretty face, either. We the breathtaking photos Cassini has been taking so far from home, we’ve been learning new and fascinating things about Saturn, its moons, and its rings.
Over the year, here are some of our favourite image of a world so alien to our Earthling experience.
The Day the Earth Smiled
Saturn in summer
Rings and Tethys
The Great Hexagon
The jets of Enceladus
Saturn is so beautiful
An abundance of moons
A triple crescent
Where there’s water…
Daphnis making waves
The edges of Saturn’s rings aren’t all flat. This image shows the edge of Saturn’s B ring, where towering structures up to 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) high cause shadows.
This article is published at Science Website ScienceAlert.