Saturn has changed its color!

The NASA’s Cassini mission, sent to explore Saturn, is going to turn 20 next year. The anniversary will also mark the Grand Finale of the mission. The spacecraft will crush into Saturn and destroy itself.

It was launched back in October 1997 with the mission to study orbits of Saturn. It is one of the most ambitious projects of NASA, which united in itself engineering sophistication and scientific brilliance. Cassini also carried the other spacecraft Huygens, which landed on the surface of the largest Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005. The landing provided a closer look at the remarkable structure of the Moon and its structure. It also became the first landing in history outside of the Solar System.

“The Cassini-Huygens mission is designed to explore the Saturnian system and all its elements: the planet and its atmosphere, rings, and magnetosphere, and a significant number of its moons, particularly Titan and the icy satellites,” Gerhard Schwehm said, the ESA Mission Manager. The mission did what it intended to, and now we know more about the Saturn and its orbits than we ever did before. Cassini also became the first spacecraft to spend almost two seasons (7 Earth years) near the planet.

Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful images taken by the spacecraft throughout the long journey in celebrating the achievement of the mission.

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Saturn rings, captured by Cassini, which were never viewed before: we can even see the tiny Earth, glimpsing like a star at the back of the planet.Saturn rings, captured by Cassini, which were never viewed before: we can even see the tiny Earth, glimpsing like a star at the back of the planet.

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View from Cassini to Saturn’s icy moon Dione with giant Saturn rings in the background

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The rare photo of three of Saturn’s different moons. The largest Tethys (image center) is round, Hyperion (to the upper-left of Tethys) is the “wild one” with a chaotic spin, and Prometheus (lower-left) is the tiny one.

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One more look from Cassini spacecraft toward the beautiful disk of Saturn

This is the image of Saturn’s moon Titan from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which shows the Earth-like structure of the natural satellite.

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Saturn’s largest moons, Titan and Rhea, from Cassini spacecraft.

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Even though missions like Cassini help to get an important insight into the world of the Space, they also remind us how much is yet to be discovered.

If you are interested in the achievements of the NASA’s mission, I recommend you to check out the website dedicated to the mission. You can find the interactive model of Cassini, read about updates from the spacecraft also look at the large gallery of images taken from space. CassiniSaturn has an active Twitter account with daily updates of the most beautiful pictures from the mission. If you also want to see Saturn dressed as a pumpkin on Halloween, I recommend you to check out their account.

 

Maryam Israelyan

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