Space Photos of the Week: So Long, Cassini. Thanks for All the Pics
This week, all eyes are on Saturn and, more specifically, the Cassini spacecraft which circled the planet one last time before crashing into its murky surface on Friday. It left behind thousands of images, including some final shots like the photo of Saturn’s clouds near the terminator, which is the boundary between night and day. It also took the awkwardly named “goodbye-kiss” image of Titan. The moon’s gravity gave Cassini one final push around Saturn before its dramatic end.
Much less tragic is the Juno spacecraft now on its eighth flyby of Jupiter. It offered a striking vision of the planet’s spiraling clouds in a series of color-enhanced images. Moving a bit closer to home, you can see a false-color map of Mars’ surface. The map reveals a possible porous crust, a finding that, if true, would tell scientists a lot about how the planet formed. But that’s not all. The sun continues to make a big fuss, releasing yet another enormous flare and sending a glowing arch of plasma into space. And Hubble spied a dazzling barred spiral galaxy NGC 5398 and its star-making cloud Tol 89 which boasts more than seven massive star clusters.
Not done with the space tour? Check out the rest of the collection here.