CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
So Far from Home

With this view, Cassini captured one of its last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance. The Saturn system has been Cassini's home for 13 years, but that journey is nearing its end.

Cassini has been orbiting Saturn for nearly a half of a Saturnian year but that journey is nearing its end. This extended stay has permitted observations of the long-term variability of the planet, moons, rings, and magnetosphere, observations not possible from short, fly-by style missions.

When the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, the planet's northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness, just beginning to emerge from winter (see PIA06164). Now at journey's end, the entire north pole is bathed in the continuous sunlight of summer.

Images taken on Oct. 28, 2016 with the wide angle camera using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this color view. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 25 degrees above the ringplane.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 50 miles (80 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: September 11, 2017 (PIA 21345)
Image/Caption Information
  So Far from Home
PIA 21345

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Alliance Member Comments
Cosmonautika (Sep 19, 2017 at 11:34 PM):
Es para mi un honor, haber participado en el proceso de imagenes, durante los 20 años de misión de la Nave, es una alegria que muchas mujeres hayan sido la inspiración del equipo de ingenieros y de imagenes. Un saludo a la Dra. Caloryn Porco, la Dra. Mar Vaquero con la cual he compartido en video conferencias animando a jovenes en los temas del espacio. Muchas Gracias Cassini por ser una nave que ha unido todo el planeta en una sola mision, ir y conocer un mundo en donde nadie ha ido antes y ahora poderlo ver como el mundo de las maravillas que nos espera nuevamente.

It is an honor for me, to have participated in the process of images, during the 20 years of mission of the Ship, it is a joy that many women have been the inspiration of the team of engineers and of images. A greeting to Dr. Caloryn Porco, Dr. Mar Vaquero with whom I have shared in video conferences encouraging young people in the themes of space. Thank you very much Cassini for being a ship that has united the whole planet in a single mission, to go and to know a world where nobody has gone before and now to be able to see it like the world of the wonders that awaits us again.