NASA releases the final photo of Saturn taken by Cassini

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 25, 2017

Now, more than two months later, NASA has released the stunning 'Farewell to Saturn, ' stitching together 42 of these observations for one final look at the remarkable planet - and, if you look closely, six moons can be seen lurking in the darkness beyond the rings. The agency says Cassini's imaging team had been planning this farewell view of Saturn for years.

Although this inevitably caused it to crash and burn after thirteen years of orbiting the planet, it was able to take a series of 42 new red, green and blue images. The scientists assembled all these 42 images into a single frame and using a series of different filters to get different colors, they finally managed to create this handsome mosaic consisting of Natural colors.

The images cover the planet from one end to the other and feature the moons Prometheus, Pandora, Janus, Epimetheus, Mimas and Enceladus.

NASA stated that the view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 15 degrees above the ring plane.

Two days before its fiery demise in Saturn's atmosphere, Cassini captured one last mosaic of its subject, using its wide-angle camera to snap a total of 80 images in just two hours. "Image scale on Saturn is about 42 miles (67 kilometers) per pixel".

In the last days of life, before the planned NASA suicide mission, Cassini was afforded greater proximity to the planet than ever before.

Cassini was destroyed so that Saturn's its moons would get infected by earthly microbes.

"Cassini's scientific bounty has been truly spectacular - a vast array of new results leading to new insights and surprises, from the tiniest of ring particles to the opening of new landscapes on Titan and Enceladus, to the deep interior of Saturn itself", said Robert West, Cassini's deputy imaging team leader at NASA.

'For 37 years, Voyager 1's last view of Saturn has been, for me, one of the most evocative images ever taken in the exploration of the solar system, ' said Carolyn Porco, former Voyager imaging team member and Cassini's imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Likewise, Elizabeth Turtle, an imaging team associate at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, said that it was hard to bid goodbye, but how lucky they were to be able to see it all through Cassini's eyes.

The Cassini-Huygens mission has been a cooperative project of Nasa, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency.

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