MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Cassini spacecraft is beginning its grand finale and gracing the public with new photos of Saturn. This mission provided NASA with the most comprehensive data and closest images ever of the gas planet.
(A hurricane-like feature in Saturn's atmosphere. Source: NASA)
Beginning this week, Cassini will make 22 total bold dives between Saturn and its rings through September 15.
The first successful dive on April 27 was the closest that we have ever been to Saturn. According to NASA, Cassini was only 200 miles away from the innermost rings and 1,900 miles from Saturn's cloud tops.
(Close-up image of Saturn's atmosphere. Source: NASA)
There is no surface on Saturn and it is made up entirely of gas. Cassini has been orbiting around Saturn for 13 years, which has given NASA new insight into the planet.
The next dives are expected to capture close views of Saturn's moon and more images of Earth from Saturn's perspective.