On 13 Marsh, 2006, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took this edge-on view of Saturn’s rings, capturing the moon Mimas above the ring plane, illuminated both by the sun and by “saturnshine,” the tiny moon Janus just above the rings and larger Tethys below. Cassini took the photo from a distance of about 2.7 million kilometres (1.7 million miles), combining red, green and blue spectral filters to produce a natural colour view. Cassini’s mission ended 15 September, 2017, when the spacecraft, virtually out of propellant after its long, successful mission, was directed to plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.
Skywatchers in Western Europe and the UK should look low to the south-southwest at nautical dusk on 3 and 5 October 2019 to view the waxing Moon pass close to Jupiter and Saturn, the Solar System’s largest gas giant planets. Observers at northern temperate latitudes should make the most of any opportunities to view these planets before they are lost in twilight.