Solar System Exploration
April 11, 2011
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured a propeller-shaped disturbance in one of Saturn's rings created by a moon that is too small to be seen here. The moon, likely about a kilometer (half a mile) acr...
Tracking a Propeller
Wave-like patterns in Saturn's rings and a nearly half-full Mimas are caught together in this image from Cassini. Mimas is 398 kilometers (247 miles) across. The image was taken in visible light w...
Saturn's Ring Patterns
The south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta reveals cliffs that are several miles or kilometers high, deep grooves, and craters. This oblique view is from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
High Cliffs at Vesta's South Pole
This plot shows how daytime temperatures at low latitudes on the dark material on Saturn's moon Iapetus vary with time of day, from about 130 Kelvin (-226 Fahrenheit) at noon to about 70 Kelvin (-3...
Iapetus Temperature Variation Map
Saturn's moon Prometheus is seen here emerging from the darkness of Saturn's shadow. Prometheus is 102 kilometers (63 miles) across. This shepherd moon, like most of Saturn's moons, always keeps ...
Solar Eclipses . . . Daily
This image of asteroid Vesta, from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, calculated from a shape model, shows a tilted view of the topography of the south polar region. This perspective removes the overall curva...
Oblique View of Vesta's South Polar Region
Enceladus in the Distance November 3, 2004 Full-Res: PIA06512 Cassini spied the moon Enceladus in the distance beyond Saturn's sou...
Enceladus in the Distance
It's difficult not to think of an egg when looking at Saturn's moon Methone, seen here during a Cassini flyby of the small moon. The relatively smooth surface adds to the effect created by the oblo...
The Cassini spacecraft captures Janus in the foreground, with Dione in the distance beyond. The image was taken two hours after Hiding Dione, in which Cassini imaged Dione beyond the rings. Janus...
Stepping Stone to Dione
Terrestrial planets (shown in the top row) are compared with the Solar System's largest satellites. Titan is the second-largest satellite in the solar system. Only Jupiter's satellite Ganymede is l...
Titan's Relative Size
The geologic diversity of Titan's surface is well illustrated by this synthetic aperture radar image, obtained on Oct. 28, 2005, during the Cassini spacecraft's ninth Titan fly-by and fourth radar ...
Distant Tethys August 20, 2004 Full-Res: PIA06460 With just a bit of detail visible on its lit hemisphere, Tethys was imaged by Ca...
Saturn's north pole basks in full sunlight. Close to the northern summer solstice, sunlight illuminates the previously dark region, permitting Cassini scientists to study this area with the spacecr...
+ Visit the E8 Flyby Page On Nov. 21 Cassini will again fly by Enceladus, this time with a very different geometry, approaching within 1,606 kilometers (997.9 miles) of the surface. The closest ap...
E-8: Cassini Returns to the Tiger Stripes
This image, taken on June 10, 2016 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows cratered terrain on Ceres. Dawn took this image from its low-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of about 240 miles (385 kilome...
Dawn LAMO Image 201
After much anticipation, Cassini has finally spotted the elusive spokes in Saturn's rings. Spokes are the ghostly radial markings discovered in the rings by NASA's Voyager spacecraft 25 years ago....
Finally . . . Spokes!
This frame from an animation from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows how the illumination of Ceres' northern hemisphere varies with the dwarf planet's axial tilt, or obliquity.
Ceres' Shadowed Craters Over Time
This image, taken on June 18, 2015 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows dwarf planet Ceres from an altitude of 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers) -- a mountain 3 miles (5 kilometers) high, surrounded by re...
Dawn Survey Orbit Image 18
Second Titan Targeted Flyby #2 December 13, 2004 Full-Res: PIA06152 This image was taken during Cassini's very close approach to Titan ...
Second Titan Targeted Flyby #2
NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Smithsonian Institution (SI) recently renewed their agreement to search for, collect and curate Antarctic meteorites in a partnership known as AN...
Science from the Sky: NASA Renews Search for Antarctic Meteorites
This image, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows the surface of dwarf planet Ceres from an altitude of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers). The image was taken on September 9, 2015, and has a resolution...
Dawn HAMO Image 29
This specially processed composite view reveals a tremendous amount of structure in the northern polar atmosphere of Titan. The hazes in Titan's atmosphere are known to extend hundreds of kilometer...
The Air Up There
Sunlight highlights the bright, wispy features on the trailing hemisphere of Saturn's moon Dione. These wispy features are a system of braided canyons with bright walls caused by fractures. See Hi...
High Contrast Wisps
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft of asteroid Vesta shows Lepida crater, located in Vesta's Floronia quadrangle, in Vesta's northern hemisphere.
+ See unlabeled version This is a side-by-side view of large cyclones at both poles of Saturn obtained by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer onboard the Cassini spacecraft. These high-s...
Infrared Images of Saturn's Poles -- Labeled
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