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The best of Cassini: High-resolution images of Saturn's rings and moons captured by orbiting spacecraft

April 5, 2017 2:06 PM
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The best of Cassini: High-resolution images of Saturn's rings and moons captured by orbiting spacecraft

As the end of the orbiter's mission approaches, IBTimes shows some of its best photographs.

29 April 2013: The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-colour image from Cassini. The eye measures 1,250 miles (2,000km) across, with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour. This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn's north pole captured by Cassini's imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness.

22 September 2014: The Cassini spacecraft captured a rare photo of three of Saturn's moons that could hardly be more different from each other. The largest of the three is Tethys (660 miles or 1,062km across). Meanwhile, Hyperion (168 miles or 270km across) is the "wild one" with a chaotic spin, and Prometheus (53 miles or 86km across) is a tiny moon that busies itself sculpting one of Saturn's rings.

27 July 2015: Enceladus, Saturn's sixth-largest moon at about 310 miles (500km) across. This moon is covered in ice, making it one of the most reflective bodies in the solar system.

15 October 2015: Cassini spied this tight trio of craters nicknamed 'The Snowman' as it approached Saturn's icy moon Enceladus for a close flyby. The craters, located at high northern latitudes, are sliced through by thin fractures – part of a network of similar cracks that wrap around the snow-white moon.

Source: ibtimes.co.uk

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