NASA Releases Extreme Close-Up Photographs of Saturn’s Rings
When you learned about Saturn in elementary school, all you really knew was that it was the planet with the rings. Now, NASA has given those rings an extreme close-up, courtesy of its Cassini spacecraft.
Currently in its “ring gazing” orbits phase, the Cassini is sending back some of the closest-ever images of Saturn’s main rings. (It observed the rings earlier in its mission in 2004, but the vantage point wasn’t as good.) The images show details as small as 0.3 miles, which is basically on scale with Earth’s tallest buildings like Burj Khalifa or the Empire State Building, per NASA.
The Cassini’s imaging team leader Carolyn Porco, of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said of the latest round of images:
“As the person who planned those initial orbit-insertion ring images—which remained our most detailed views of the rings for the past 13 years—I am taken aback by how vastly improved are the details in this new collection….How fitting it is that we should go out with the best views of Saturn’s rings we’ve ever collected.”
For more on the Cassini’s mission and Saturn’s rings, click here. Take a closer look at three more images of the rings below.
Suggested for you