Jun 23, 2017: Saturn 'Rev 278' Raw Preview - This raw, unprocessed image of Saturn-rings was taken on June 7, 2017 and received on Earth June 8, 2017.
Jun 14, 2017: Northern Summer on Titan - NASA's Cassini spacecraft sees bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn's moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.
Jun 8, 2017: Tethys 'Rev 277' Raw Preview - This raw, unprocessed image of Tethys was taken on June 6, 2017 and received on Earth June 7, 2017.
Star Date: October 26, 2004
Here we are. Wondering and waiting.
Nearly half a century of exploring the bodies in orbit around our Sun has brought us to this point ... staring down Saturn's largest moon, the last, great mystery our solar system has to offer.
To us planetary explorers, Titan is a world apart. No other place we could visit, no other body we might study could present us with the possibilities promised by this cold, organic-rich and smoggy place.
In images taken on approach only a day ago, we have seen Titan's surface with greater clarity than we had in early July because of the more favorable viewing conditions of this encounter. While regions here and there may be reminiscent of other planetary bodies -- a boundary here that resembles a terrestrial shoreline, a marking there that reminds us of Neptune's satellite Triton -- in the end, this moon looks like no other place we've ever seen.
We are closer to Titan now than we've ever been before. The images we are expecting to receive should show details 10 times smaller, or better, than the best we have now.
This is history in the making. We will never be this innocent, or this ignorant, again. In a matter of hours, the solar system will become a very much smaller place.