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NASA Cassini Mission: A Journey in Images Through 2006

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Friday, December 29, 2006

Click on image to enlarge

Saturn's rings, beautiful and mysterious, are an optical illusion on a cosmic scale. Far from solid, they're actually a blizzard of water-ice particles mixed with dust and rock fragments. The Cassini mission has already captured amazing views of this dynamic system.

Cassini Rings in the New Year

Cassini Rings in the New Year

With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness, the Cassini spacecraft viewed the rings as never before, revealing previously unknown faint rings and even glimpsing our home world.

Cassini Rings in the New Year

With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness, the Cassini spacecraft viewed the rings as never before, revealing previously unknown faint rings and even glimpsing our home world.

Graceful Lanes of Ice

Graceful Lanes of Ice

A golden view of the outer B ring, the Cassini Division and the inner part of the A ring.

Graceful Lanes of Ice

The dark Cassini Division, within Saturn's rings, contains a great deal of structure, as seen in this color image.

The Rings and Moons Dance

The Rings and Moons Dance

The little moon Daphnis drifts through the Keeler gap at the center of its entourage of waves.

The Rings and Moons Dance

Never-before-seen details in Saturn's F ring, including the perturbing effect of small moonlets orbiting in or close to the ring's bright core.

The Rings and Moons Dance

The shepherd moon Prometheus pulls two long streamers out of the F ring.

The Rings and Moons Dance

Pan cruises the Encke gap with several faint ringlets.

The Rings and Moons Dance

Wispy fingers of bright, icy material reach tens of thousands of kilometers outward from Saturn's moon Enceladus into the E ring.

Search for Spokes

Search for Spokes

A broad and ghostly spoke drifts past under the Cassini spacecraft's gaze.

Ringscape in Color

Nine days before it entered orbit, the Cassini spacecraft captured this exquisite natural color view of Saturn's rings.

Ringscape in Color

Ringscape in Color

False color image of two density waves in Saturn's A ring.

Ringscape in Color

The best view of Saturn's rings in the ultraviolet, hinting at the origins of the rings and their evolution.

Face of Beauty

Face of Beauty

Softly hued Saturn embraced by the shadows of its stately rings.

Face of Beauty

Multiple eyes of Cassini provide complementary information about the structure of Saturn's rings.

Face of Beauty

The largest, most detailed, global natural color view of Saturn and its rings ever made.

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