saturn and rings

Saturn as seen by NASA's Cassini mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute | › Full image and caption

The Grace of the Worlds: Beautiful Planets

Feature | March 20, 2020

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    The poet Wendell Berry wrote about the power of nature to ease the mind:

    "I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

    Even when we can't see them, the stars and other wonders of the universe are always there, and the "grace of the world" — or the many worlds of our solar system — can offer inspiration. These NASA resources will help you find and enjoy some of that beauty.

    Jupiter against black background of space
    Jupiter as seen by NASA's Juno mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill | › Full image and caption

    See Jupiter through the Eyes of JunoCam

    NASA's Juno spacecraft is currently orbiting the giant planet, studying its mysterious deep interior. To document its journey, the spacecraft carries a camera called JunoCam. As part of a NASA citizen science project, amateur image processors around the world convert raw data from JunoCam into stunning imagery. The results are beautiful, and have even contributed to significant scientific discoveries about Jupiter's churning atmosphere. You can see the JunoCam contributors' latest work — and submit your own — on the Juno website.

    moon floating before immense face of Saturn
    Saturn's icy moon Dione floats in front of the giant planet in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute | › Full image and caption

    Tour the Saturn System with Cassini

    The Cassini mission left a legacy of 395,927 images taken by its onboard cameras through a variety of photographic filters. They reveal the planet, its rings and its miniature solar system of moons at a level of detail that changed our understanding of planetary science. This treasure trove of imagery is archived online, organized by subject. You can even search through the entire collection of raw images. Some of the most striking Cassini pictures have been collected in an e-Book.

    milky way rising above a mountain with three planets visible as bright stars
    During March 2020, three planets are visible in the pre-dawn sky: Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, seen here as the three bright "stars" at lower left. Photo taken on March 21, 2020 in Skull Valley, Utah. See the latest skywatching tips. Credit: NASA/Bill Dunford

    Explore the Entire Parade of Planets

    Each planet and major moon, as well as some asteroids and comets, has its own page on this site, complete with an image and video gallery to explore. Just choose your destination.

    mosaic showing several poster designs
    These planet posters are free and downloadable for printing. Some are also availalbe in trading card size. Credit: NASA

    Print a Hard Copy...

    This poster set, which can be downloaded and printed individually, showcases the beauty of our solar system and beyond. You can optionally download a back page for each poster that includes orbit diagrams and further context. Fifteen of the best images are also available in trading card size.

    mars rover in rocky landscape
    This "selfie" was taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Feb. 26, 2020. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS | › Full image and caption

    ...Or Re-Paper Your Digital Walls

    Each space image in this collection is available for download in sizes that make for good desktop or phone wallpapers. Creative video conference-goers could even use them as a background for their next virtual meeting.

    material radiation outward from a central crater, seen from above
    An unnamed, geologically very fresh crater at the north edge of the Moon's Mare Fecunditatis, as seen by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University | › Full image and caption

    Visit a Lunar Art Gallery

    As NASA prepares to return astronauts to the lunar surface, the robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is currently circling the Moon, capturing thousands of extremely high-resolution images of the terrain. Some of the most striking views have been assembled in this online art gallery.

    animated moon phases
    Credit: NASA/GSFC

    Find More Mind-Expanding Options

    When you're ready to take your exploration farther, this page leads to other resources, including videos, podcasts, education guides and hands-on activities for adults and children.