Space Photos of the Week: So Long, Cassini. Thanks for All the Pics

移动互联 Wired (源链)

As Cassini drew closer to its fiery death, NASA looked back at the many incredible images it took. This shot was one of the last long-distance photos of the Saturn, taken in October 2016. The Cassini spacecraft plunged into the planet’s surface on Friday after 20 years of service.

This Hubble shot features NGC 5398, a barred spiral galaxy with an ionized hydrogen cloud known as Tol 89, a star-making machine containing more than seven massive star clusters.

The Juno spacecraft captured Jupiter’s vast storm bands in these multiple false-color images.

This false-color map of Mars features new data that suggests the Red planet has a porous crust. The findings could tell scientists a great deal about how Mars may have formed.

Cassini snapped this stunning image of Saturn’s northern hemisphere near the terminator, which is the boundary of night and day. Its swirling, cloudy surface resembles a murky ocean.

The sun continues in its cantankerous activity this week. In this new photo released from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory, you can see a bright solar flare erupting from the center.

Cassini flew by Titan one last time, taking this shot of the moon before the Grande Finale. The image showcases the planet’s gorgeous haze and lakes of methane beneath the clouds.

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.

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