New Delhi: NASA's Cassini spacecraft has never failed to impress space enthusiasts with brilliant images and insights into Saturn and its moons, the planet it is currently probing.
The extraordinary images are not just a reflection of how Saturn looks, but the information and data beamed back by Cassini also helps scientists at NASA learn and understand more about its structure, evolution and future movements and changes.
Earlier in Cassini's mission, Saturn's shadow over its rings stretched completely across, covering all them.
Now, in one of the recent pics captured by Cassini, Saturn's shadow just barely crosses the spacecraft's division.
As per NASA, the changing length of the shadow marks the passing of the seasons on Saturn. As the planet nears its northern-hemisphere solstice in May 2017, the shadow will get even shorter. At solstice, the shadow's edge will be about 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) from the planet's surface, barely making it past the middle of the B ring.
The image shows the sunlit side of the rings from about 35 degrees above the ring plane. It was captured in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 21, 2016.