End of Mission: Take a Look at 20 Years of Cassini Images

Launched in 1997, the Cassini's mission to Saturn is now over. The spacecraft spiraled out of control and vaporized in the sky above Saturn Friday.

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
These images include a wide-angle look at Saturn (left), Cassini's launch in 1997 (middle) and a high-resolution look at Saturn's rings in 2017.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft bid farewell by firing the shutters of its wide-angle camera and capturing this last, full mosaic of Saturn and its rings two days before the spacecraft's dramatic plunge into the planet's atmosphere.
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AP
Engineer Nancy Vandermay, left, wipes her tears in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory after confirmation of Cassini's demise Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Pasadena , Calif. Cassini disintegrated in the skies above Saturn early Friday, following a remarkable journey of 20 years. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool)
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Flight director Julie Webster gets emotional in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory after confirmation of Cassini's demise Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. Cassini disintegrated in the skies above Saturn early Friday, following a remarkable journey of 20 years. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool)
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AP
IO manager Luis Morales monitors the status of NASA's Cassini spacecraft in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. Cassini disintegrated in the skies above Saturn early Friday, following a remarkable journey of 20 years. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool)
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
One of Cassini's final looks at Saturn. This image was captured Oct. 28, 2016 with a wide-angle camera using red, green and blue spectral filters for a color view. You're looking at the sunlit side of the planet. Cassini was about 870,000 miles away.
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This image, created with red, green and blue spectral filters, show Cassini's last image transmission on Sept. 14, 2017. The probe ended its twenty year journey just hours later, vaporizing as it entered Saturn's atmosphere.
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In Dec. 2012, this image from Cassini was taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow.
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NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
These are the highest-resolution color images of Saturn's rings to date. It's a mosaic of two images taken July 6, 2017.
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This view is from above Saturn's north pole on April 26, 2017 -- the day Cassini began its grand finale of dives through the gap between the planets and its rings. Cassini was about 166,000 miles from Saturn when it obtained this image.
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The empty space between Saturn and its rings is seen in this raw image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which did its second Grand Finale dive on May 2, 2017.
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The rings of Saturn is seen in this raw image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which did its second Grand Finale dive between the rings and Saturn on May 2, 2017.
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You're looking at the first images from Cassini's first dive between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. These unprocessed images show Saturn's atmosphere.
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This panoramic view of Saturn was created by combining 165 images taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera over nearly three hours on Sept. 15, 2006.
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This view shows Saturn's northern hemisphere in 2016.
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This false-color mosaic shows Saturn's northern storm in the top right of the image.
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This false-color view of Saturn shows a strong jet stream in Saturn's northern hemisphere.
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This composite image shows an infrared view of Saturn's moon Titan from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which was captured during the mission's "T-114" flyby on Nov. 13, 2015.
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A look at the solar system's largest moon, GAnymede, alongside Jupiter. This photo was captured by Cassini in Dec. 2000.
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A mosaic view of Mimas, Saturn's icy moon.
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Saturn's barely bisected rings, which are the most extensive planetary ring system on any planet in the Solar System.
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As Saturn's northern hemisphere summer approaches, the shadows of the rings creep ever southward across the planet.
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Pan is one of Saturn's smallest moons, but like many of Saturn's ring moons, it's rings are very visible.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward Saturn's icy lanes of its rings.
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A view from above of Saturn. NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured the planet as a serene globe amid tranquil rings.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures the details of Saturn's rings.
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Saturn’s moon Tethys appears to stay above the planet's north pole in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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Another view of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot, as seen from Cassini in Nov. 2014.
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In this photograph of Saturn's moon Titan, you can see the moon's clouds. Scientists are trying to figure out why they can't be seen in other moons.
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Sunlight arrives to Saturn's north pole. The whole northern region is bathed in sunlight in this view from late 2016.
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Tethys, one of Saturn's larger icy moons, vaguely resembles an eyeball staring off into space in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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The north pole of Saturn sits at the center of its own domain. Around it swirl the clouds, driven by the fast winds of Saturn.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft about to make one of its dives between Saturn and its innermost rings as part of the mission's grand finale. Cassini will make 22 orbits that swoop between the rings and the planet before ending its mission on Sept. 15, 2017, with a final plunge into Saturn.
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Enceladus appears to be like most of its sibling moons: cold, icy and inhospitable.
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Saturn's sunlit face is visible in this view.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn's northern hemisphere and rings as viewed with four different spectral filters.
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As NASA's Cassini spacecraft continues its weekly ring-grazing orbits, diving just past the outside of Saturn's F ring (seen above), it is tracking several small, persistent objects there.
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These two images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show how the spacecraft's perspective changed as it passed within 15,300 miles of Saturn's moon Pan on March 7, 2017.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured one of the highest-resolution views ever taken of Saturn's moon Pandora. Pandora is one of Saturn's moons and it orbits just outside the planet's narrow F ring.
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks down at the rings of Saturn from above the planet's nightside.
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Researchers think an optical illusion is responsible for most, but not all of what appear to be individual jets on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Some discrete jets are still required to explain Cassini's observations.
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On Oct. 15, 1997, a seven-year journey to the ringed planet Saturn began with the liftoff of a Titan IVB/Centaur carrying the Cassini orbiter and its attached Huygens probe. This spectacular streak shot was taken from Hangar AF on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with a solid rocket booster retrieval ship in the foreground.
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The Cassini spacecraft on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Aug. 1997.
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In an image that offers an unusual perspective on our planet, Earth can be seen as a tiny point of light between Saturn's icy rings. This image from April 12, 2017 is Cassini's last of Earth. The spacecraft was 870 million miles away.
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