This was the final image taken by Cassini after more than 13 years of exploring the depths of its complexity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Before the Cassini spacecraft went down in the blaze of glory in Saturn’s atmosphere, it took a series of pictures that unite into a fitting farewell mosaic image of the ringed planet. After spending 13 years at the gaseous giant, NASA’s hugely successful spacecraft used it’s wide-angle camera to mark its conclusion.
On 13 September 2017, 42 images were taken using Cassini’s wide-angle camera, which combined red, green and blue images covering Saturn’s full framework. When scientists pieced together all the images, it produced a spectacular natural colour mosaic masterpiece, included in the image is Saturn’s illustrious rings along with its moons Prometheus, Pandora, Janus, Epimetheus, Mimas and Enceladus.
There were many discoveries that came from Cassini’s exploration of Saturn and its equally elusive moons. “Cassini’s scientific bounty has been truly spectacular — a vast array of new results leading to new insights and surprises, from the tiniest of ring particles to the opening of new landscapes on Titan and Enceladus, to the deep interior of Saturn itself,” says Robert West, Cassini’s deputy imaging team ...