New Delhi: NASA's Cassini mission is currently on its last leg and is inching toward its graceful finish in 2017. At present, the spacecraft is performing flybys of the planet Saturn, making its closest approaches to the rings, with the spacecraft presently performing its final plunge.
The mission, which is about to end some time this year, has definitely been a fruitful one, owing to all the wonderfully insightful information scientists have managed to glean from it.
Every new image beamed back by Cassini during its last mission has come bearing some evolutionary secret or shows an unpredictable side of the planet or a feature that would have otherwise been impossible to envisage.
During one of its recent ring-grazing dives, Cassini managed to capture an incredible image showing not only Saturn's rings, but a small speck of light that is actually our home planet Earth, peeking from between the icy rings!
It's a never-seen-before photograph clicked when Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth.
As per NASA, the part of Earth facing Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Earth's moon is also visible nearby, as a fainter dull-grey small dot on the left, which can be seen in the cropped zoomed-in version of the original image. Check it out below:
The 20-year-old spacecraft has been investigating the ringed planet for 13 years, thereby providing scientists with numerous insights into Saturn's structure and evolution.
Cassini's last mission called the 'ring-grazing orbits' that began last November will come to an end soon.