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The Rings and Moons of Saturn

A Tectonic Feast

The Cassini spacecraft has been studying Saturn and its moons since it entered orbit in 2004. These 15 snapshots were some of its most popular as Cassini began an extended mission that now stretches to 2017. This image, taken on Oct. 5, 2008, is a stunnin

The Cassini spacecraft has been studying Saturn and its moons since it entered orbit in 2004. These 15 snapshots were some of its most popular as Cassini began an extended mission that now stretches to 2017. This image, taken on Oct. 5, 2008, is a stunning mosaic of the geologically active Enceladus after a Cassini flyby.

Icy Rhea

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

The Cassini spacecraft looks toward the Rhea's cratered, icy landscape with the dark line of Saturn's ringplane and the planet's murky atmosphere as a background. Rhea is Saturn's second-largest moon, at 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across. This image was taken on Oct. 20, 2008.

Moons on the Move

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Titan emerges from behind Saturn while Tethys streaks into view in this colorful scene on March 24, 2008. Titan is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) wide; Tethys is 1,071 kilometers (665 miles) wide. Saturn's shadow darkens the far arm of the rings near the planet's limb.

Saturnian Polar Aurora

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

This Nov. 12, 2008 image of the northern polar region of Saturn shows both the aurora and underlying atmosphere, seen at two different wavelengths of infrared light by Cassini. The image shows both a bright ring, as seen from Earth, as well as an example of bright auroral emission within the polar cap that had been undetected until the advent of Cassini.

Saturn … Four Years On

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This image of Saturn -- a mosaic of 30 photos -- was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Dec. 30, 2008.

Flowing Liquids on Titan

NASA/JPL

Abundant evidence for flowing liquids is seen in this view of Saturn’s moon Titan, from sinuous, wide river channels to shorter, more chaotic drainage patterns. This radar view of Titan's south pole was taken on Dec. 20, 2007.

Feeling the Tug of Gravity

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

The brilliant moon Prometheus pulls at the nearby inner strand of Saturn's F ring in this Aug. 27, 2008 view. Gravitational tugs from Prometheus are constantly reshaping this narrow ring. Prometheus is about 53 miles (86 km) across at its widest point.

Skeet Shoot at Enceladus

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This image is the fourth skeet-shoot footprint taken during Cassini's very close flyby of Enceladus on Aug. 11, 2008. Cairo Sulcus is shown crossing the upper left portion of the image. An unnamed fracture curves around the lower right corner.

Titan Approaches Saturn

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Swathed in its thick blanket of atmosphere, frigid Titan approaches the brilliant limb of Saturn on March 14, 2008.

The Rings of Saturn

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Details of Saturn's icy rings are visible in this sweeping view from Cassini of the planet's glorious ring system. The total span, from A ring to F ring, covers approximately 40,800 miles (65,700 km) and was photographed at Nov. 26, 2008.

Saturn Vortex

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This detailed Cassini view of the monstrous vortex at Saturn's south pole provides valuable insight about the mechanisms that power the planet's atmosphere. This view, taken on July, 14, 2008, is 10 times more detailed than any previous image of the polar vortex.

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