NASA Releases Most Detailed Photos of Saturn’s Rings Ever Taken

NASA just released the highest resolution photographs of Saturn’s rings yet. About 1.2 billion kilometers )(746 million miles) away from Earth, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is busy capturing a beautiful piece of our solar system in never-before-seen detail.

As Cassini approaches Saturn’s moons, the spacecraft has entered what NASA is calling its “Ring-Grazing” orbits phase. Closer than ever to Saturn’s icy debris rings, the spacecraft sent back these closeups, which offer twice the detail of anything the human race has seen previously.

“Although Cassini saw these features earlier in the mission, the spacecraft’s current, special orbits are now providing opportunities to see them in greater detail,” explains NASA. “The new images resolve details as small as 0.3 miles (550 meters), which is on the scale of Earth’s tallest buildings.”

Have a look for yourself at the four images NASA has release thus far:

“As the person who planned those initial orbit-insertion ring images—which remained our most detailed views of the rings for the past 13 years—I am taken aback by how vastly improved are the details in this new collection,” Cassini Imaging Team Lead, Carolyn Porco, said in a statement. “How fitting it is that we should go out with the best views of Saturn’s rings we’ve ever collected.”

Fitting indeed. To learn more about these incredible close-ups or download full-res JPEG or TIFF versions of all four, head over to the NASA website by clicking here.

(via Digg)

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