Photo above, pieced together from smaller photographs, this mosaic of Saturn was captured by Cassini in 2016. This view shows Saturn’s northern hemisphere.
February 2017 – After traveling through space for almost 20 years, NASA’s Cassini mission’s Huygens craft will commence its final journey studying the rings of Saturn before it crashes into the planet on September 15, 2017, since it is running out of the fuel necessary for orbital corrections. The probe will crash into Saturn to avoid potential biological contamination of Saturn’s moons.
The unmanned spacecraft has performed flybys of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s many moons, capturing beautiful and informative images of these celestial bodies. Notable among them are photographs of Saturn’s persisting hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet, a phenomenon that has intrigued scientists and casual observers alike. Also photographed are the liquid hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn’s moon, Titan, of which at least one is larger than the Great Lakes in North America.
Although the Cassini mission is coming to a close, NASA’s commitment to the exploration of space will continue to provide a clearer perspective on the creativity and beauty of the Creator God.
latimes.com,11/29/16; theverge.com, 12/7/16