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NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cassini spacecraft image of Saturn and its rings. The bands around the planet represent air flowing at different speeds and clouds at different heights to neighbouring bands. Saturn's rings consist of particles of nearly pure water ice. The joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched in 1997 and took seven years to reach Saturn and its moons. The Huygens probe separated from Cassini on 25th December 2004, and descended to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The Cassini orbiter continued orbiting Saturn; studying its atmosphere and rings and performing flybys of its moons. Mosaic image obtained by Cassini's wide-angle camera on 25th April 2016 at an approximate distance of 3 million kilometres from Saturn.
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