The Cassini Spacecraft successfully passed under Saturn’s rings and got incredibly close to its clouds (a bit over 1,000 miles away), beaming back a number of clear images of its atmosphere and rings. No spacecraft has ever been this close to Saturn.
Here are a few of the raw images it took of Saturn:
Images obtained with thanks from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
As for upcoming astronomical events, Cassini is scheduled to dive into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017. Mark your calendar!
Fun Facts About Saturn
- Saturn has a perpetual hurricane on its south pole with wind speeds exceeding 550 km/h. It is believed to be at least decades old. Storms on Saturn have been found to be up to 6,600 miles wide, which is almost as wide as Earth.
- Saturn has 53 confirmed moons, and 9 provisional moons. It’s believed that these moons have atmosphere’s of their own, and could support life more so than Saturn itself.
- It’s a gas giant, meaning that it comprises mostly gases, but it is believed to have a solid core.