Two days before Cassini ended its 13 year mission at Saturn, it took a final set of 80 photos with its wide-angle camera. 42 of those photos were combined to create this image. It is a fitting goodbye to the ringed planet.
“After more than 13 years at Saturn, and with its fate sealed, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft bid farewell to the Saturnian system by firing the shutters of its wide-angle camera and capturing this last, full mosaic of Saturn and its rings two days before the spacecraft’s dramatic plunge into the planet’s atmosphere.
“During the observation, a total of 80 wide-angle images were acquired in just over two hours. This view is constructed from 42 of those wide-angle shots, taken using the red, green and blue spectral filters, combined and mosaicked together to create a natural-color view.
“Six of Saturn’s moons — Enceladus, Epimetheus, Janus, Mimas, Pandora and Prometheus — make a faint appearance in this image. (Numerous stars are also visible in the background.)
“The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.”
Read more and download full resolution images at A Farewell to Saturn.