Secrets Of The Rings

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CICLOPS / SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE / JPL / NASA

COME HITHER: Cassini snapped this picture when it was 17.6 million miles from Saturn; each pixel in the image covers 105 miles

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If Cassini really does represent the end of an era, it's a glorious end. Space scientists can justly take pride in the ship they have built and launched. They ought to be humbled too by the enormousness of the frontier they are mapping. "We have always tended to underestimate the splendor that the solar system has to offer," says physicist Soderblum. Knowing that this may be the last time — at least in our lives — that we get such a good look at Saturn makes the wonder of what we're seeing all the sweeter.
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