Picture This

Saturn-lit moon

25 August 2017 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Cassini probe gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.

Picture This

Enceladus’ jets from afar

26 July 2017 Astronomy Now

Enceladus’ intriguing south-polar jets are viewed by the Cassini probe from afar, backlit by sunlight while the moon itself glows softly in reflected Saturn-shine.

Picture This

Titan’s north pole in summertime

16 June 2017 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this view of bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn’s moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.

Picture This

Crash course?

20 December 2016 Astronomy Now

It may look as though Saturn’s moon Mimas is crashing through the rings in this image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, but Mimas is actually 45,000 kilometres (28,000 miles) away from the rings.

Picture This

Two tiny moons lost among the rings of Saturn

8 October 2016 Astronomy Now

Two tiny moons of Saturn, almost lost amid the planet’s enormous rings, are seen orbiting in this Cassini probe image. Pan, visible within the Encke Gap near lower-right, is in the process of overtaking the slower Atlas, visible at upper-left.

News

35 Years On, Voyager’s Legacy Continues at Saturn

25 August 2016 Astronomy Now

Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Saturn 35 years ago — on 25 August 1981. What the Voyagers revealed at the planet was so phenomenal that, just one year later, a joint American and European working group began discussing a mission that would carry on Voyager’s legacy at Saturn.

Picture This

Dione: a moon of contrasts

22 August 2016 Astronomy Now

In this image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, Saturn’s moon Dione reveals its past via contrasts. The features visible here are a mixture of tectonics — the bright, linear features — and impact cratering — the round features, which are spread across the entire surface.

Picture This

Tethys Tops Saturn

12 July 2016 Astronomy Now

An illusion of perspective, Saturn’s moon Tethys seems to hang above the planet’s north pole in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.