NASA released some stunning images of Saturn and its moons captured from the Cassini spacecraft. Each of these high resolution images were captured by NASA’s Cassini from its 20 year journey.
Cassini has already begun its series of 22 weekly dives before it will take the final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15. This will bring the 20-year journey of NASA’s Cassini to an end.
Cassini in a way represents many firsts for the planet of Saturn. It was successful in its first ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. Cassini has explored all sorts of scientific data, right from how planetary systems evolve to making detailed maps of Saturn’s gravity and magnetic fields.
The final dives will help NASA understand how much material is in Saturn’s rings and also help them determine their origins. In addition to this, Cassini’s particle detectors will sample Saturn’s icy ring particles.
Some of the recent images NASA has shared give a closeup of the moon Titan, Rhea, and Saturn’s rings. The closeup images are stunning, and give a detailed glimpse around the planet and its system, something that has not be been previously seen. The spacecraft will also a send a sample of Saturn’s atmosphere so that scientists can determine what gases are present on the planet.
Launched in 1997, Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004. Following its last close flyby of the large moon Titan on April 21, Cassini began what mission planners are calling its “Grand Finale.”