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Photos: The Rings and Moons of Saturn in Pictures

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.

Jet Spots in Tiger Stripes

NASA/JPL/GSFC/SwRI/SSI

Heat radiating from the entire length of 95-mile (150-km) long fractures is seen in this best-yet heat map of the active south polar region of Saturn's ice moon Enceladus. The data was collected on March 12, 2008.

Saturn's Weird Hexagon Hotspot

NASA/JPL/GSFC/Oxford University

Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer discovered an unexpected "hot spot" at Saturn's north pole. Despite being in winter darkness for more than a decade, the hot, cyclonic vortex at upon Saturn's northernmost reaches appears very similar to that found on Saturn's much sunnier south pole, and it surprised scientists with its appearance. This image was taken Jan. 3, 2008.

The Persistent Hexagon

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn's north polar hexagon appears to be a long-lived feature of the atmosphere, having been spotted in images of Saturn in the early 1980s, again in the 1990s, and then by the Cassini spacecraft in the past several years. The persistent nature of the hexagon in imaging observations implies that it is present throughout Saturn's 29-year seasonal cycle. Two sides of the hexagon are seen here on Aug. 25, 2008.

Profile of Janus

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This shadowy scene is one of the Cassini spacecraft's closest views of Saturn's moon Janus. The moon is 111 miles (179 km) across and was photographed by Cassini on June 30, 2008.

Mimas' Shadow on Saturn

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The shadow of the moon Mimas creates a smudge on the southern hemisphere of Saturn in this view from the Cassini spacecraft. Image taken Jan. 21, 2012.

Tethys Surface

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

The photo of Saturn's moon Tethys was taken on April 14, 2012 and received on Earth April 15, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Tethys at approximately 185 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated.

Tethys Portrait

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The photo of Saturn's moon Tethys was taken on April 14, 2012 and received on Earth April 15, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Tethys at approximately 185 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated.

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