NASA Just Photographed Saturn Rings In Highest Resolution Ever
NASA just released new pictures from the last stages of their Cassini spacecraft mission, showing the never-before-seen details of the Saturn rings.
The spacecraft is about 746 million miles (1.2 billion kilometers) away from Earth now and is on the “Ring-Grazing” mission phase, which brings it closer to Saturn’s icy debris rings than human-made device has ever been: “Although Cassini saw these features earlier in the mission, the spacecraft’s current, special orbits are now providing opportunities to see them in greater detail,” explains NASA. “The new images resolve details as small as 0.3 miles (550 meters), which is on the scale of Earth’s tallest buildings.”
These photos are among the last before the spacecraft performs its final move and plunges into the thick atmosphere of Saturn on September 2017: “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,” Cassini Imaging Team Lead, Carolyn Porco, said in a statement. “How fitting it is that we should go out with the best views of Saturn’s rings we’ve ever collected.”