Outer space is filled with things that the human mind has difficulty comprehending. The scale of objects that are in our solar system is absolutely awe-inspiring. The thought of life on distant planets, or finding another suitable home for human kind to colonize, has been the dream of the many people who have studied space. NASA has been at the forefront of that mission ever since it was created on July 29, 1958. We have sent countless satellites into space to study every kind of scientific measurement possible. Scientists continually find out things about space that completely throw off theories that have been held for years as scientific fact. With all the news that NASA’s New Horizon Probe has been getting for sending back our first detailed photos of Pluto, The Cassini Space Probe has been sending gorgeous pictures of Saturn for over a decade since it arrived in its orbit in 2004. Check out these 18 stunning pictures of Saturn that are sure to make you question your place in the universe.
1. Here is Saturn casting a shadow on its rings. I love the contrast between the light and dark sides.
2. This image is absolutely incredible. This image shows Saturn’s rings cutting through one of its moons, Titan. Titan is sitting in the shadow of another moon named Enceladus. The reach of the rings is absolutely incredible.
3. This is stunning photo is of Saturn during an equinox. This means that the length of time of day and night are the exact same. Complete and utter blackness on one side, scary.
4. These are four moons of Saturn around its rings in one photograph. Saturn has 31 moons altogether, the largest of which is named Titan.
5. Another shot of Saturn casting shadows on its rings. I love the overhead view that the space probe provided.
6. The scope and scale of this image are absolutely phenomenal. This picture shows Saturn at a horizontal vantage point with its rings extending upwards. Its moon Dione is pictured in the foreground. Imagine sitting on Dione and witnessing Saturn like this.
7. This photo is an overexposed shot of Saturn that was used to bring out detail in its rings. Hard to imagine those rings are floating rocks being held together in Saturn’s orbit.
8. See that tiny pale blue dot, that’s Earth. Feel small and insignificant yet?
9. This photo is actually 165 individual images taken over three hours, combined and color exaggerated to bring out more detail. They show Saturn passing in front of the Sun. The detail is absolutely incredible.
10. Check out those colors and contrasts. This photo shows Saturn’s gradation, which is the change in color and shade of the surface of Saturn, and its rings. I love the changes from white to black.
11. These are how Saturn’s rings glow when hit with scattered sunlight. Such a raw beauty.
12. This is a storm on the North Pole of Saturn. This looks like literally one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen. Can you imagine being inside that?
13. Saturn’s biggest moon Titan sits behind another Saturn moon, Rhea. The size differences between the moons of Saturn is really astounding.
14. The icy face of Enceladus is shown here with its carved channels and pock-marked surface.
15. Saturn’s moon Titan is shown crossing Saturn’s rings. The big black band running through Saturn is unreal.
16. An electrical storm on the surface of Saturn. The colors running through the planet are fantastic.
17. This is a massive storm that stretches across a huge portion of northern Saturn. Imagine a storm that size on Earth.
18. Three of Saturn’s magnificent moons captured in one picture. They are named Titan, Rheas, and Mima. They look almost ethereal and ghostly in this shot.
These pictures of Saturn are some of the most stunning images I have ever seen. The detail and scale you get from them really do help you get a clear picture of just how massive our neighboring planets, solar system, and universe as a whole, really are. Looking at these pictures, it’s hard to think of someone not being moved or affected by their beauty, and even the utter chaos that exists beyond our atmosphere. Outer space is still such a mystery, but hopefully with continued photos like these, we can piece our small fragments of knowledge together to gain a greater knowledge of and deeper perspective of the last great frontier.