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NASA is saying goodbye to Saturn with a newly-processed photo of the ringed planet taken during the last day of the Cassini mission.
The photo shows Saturn in all its sunlit glory, glowing gold against the blackness of space.
Cassini snapped the series of images that were stitched together to create this photo on September 13 before making its plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, destroying the spacecraft in the process.
The space probe had been exploring Saturn and its many moons since 2004, and we have no other spacecraft dedicated to studying the huge world today.
The new photo shows Saturn in natural color, according to NASA, and the image has some surprises if you know where to look. Janus, Enceladus, and Mimas.
It’s only fitting that Cassini’s final goodbye would include some of the moons it studied from close range for more than 10 years.
Researchers will continue to look through data returned to Earth from Cassini for years, hopefully finding even more important information in the decades to come.
But until we have a new robotic eye on Saturn consistently, new, up-close views of the world will be a thing of the past.