See Saturns secrets through NASA Cassinis finest views

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You wont find Darth Vader hanging out on Mimas, but you will notice its round shape and large impact crater that matches the superlaser dish on the sci-fi craft. Cassini captured this image of Mimas in October 2016.

Cassini captured the images used in the movie on Aug. 28. This was Cassinis last look at Enceladus before the end of its mission.

NASA shared two versions ofCassinis final imagetaken before the spacecraft destroyed itself in Saturns atmosphere on Sept. 15. One is monochrome and the other is in natural color. This last look shows Saturn from a distance of 394,000 miles (634,000 kilometers) away.

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A graceful Cassini image from early 2017 shows Saturns face and rings lit up by the sun.NASA explains what were seeing with the rings: From this vantage point just beneath the ring plane, the dense B ring becomes dark and essentially opaque, letting almost no light pass through. But some light reflected by the planet passes through the less dense A ring, which appears above the B ring in this photo.

NASA compiled this false-color imagefrom Cassini views taken on May 18, 2017. The picture highlights the complex interplay of cloud bands and the wave patterns they make where they touch.

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Sunrise on Saturn looks a bit different than it does on Earth. Cassini watcheddawn rise on the gas giantin this image from mid-2014. The light falls artfully on Saturns stormy atmosphere and bands of clouds.

Saturn poses with its largest moon in thispicturesque Cassini shotfrom May 2015. At 3,200 miles (5,150 kilometers) across, Titan is the ringed planets largest moon. Cassini was 1.4 million miles (2.2 million kilometers) from Saturn when it took the image.

NASA released this GIF in early September showingSaturns moon Enceladus and its fascinating plumeof water vapor and ice. The plume is visible at the bottom of the moon.

If you look closely, you might spot two moons in the lower left corner. Enceladus is closer to the rings and Tethys is a little farther down toward the corner.

Earth doesnt have an exclusive on auroras. ThisNASA animation, released in July 2017, comes from a series of Cassini images and shows what an aurora looks like on Saturn. The aurora has a ghostly cloud-like appearance in this GIF.

Update, Sept. 15 at 9:05 a.m. PT:Added final image and information on the missions end.

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A big part of Cassinis 2017 grand finale farewell tour involved shooting the gap between Saturn and its rings. NASA released amovie showing the spacecrafts view of the ringsduring one of these dramatic dives. The GIF consists of 21 images captured in late August.

NASA shared an image of asnowman-shaped set of indentationsin the surface of Saturns moon Enceladus in late 2015. The snowman is actually three well-placed craters.

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Saturns dainty moon Pan is just 17 miles (28 kilometers) across. Its cute, and it alsolooks like a piece of raviolipasta due to its irregular shape. Cassini sent back some images of the unusual moon in early 2017. Its not the only Saturn moon that looks like Earth food. The moon Prometheus resembles a potato.

Behold Cassinis highest resolutioncolor image of a portion of Saturns B Ring. NASA released this fascinating look at the ring in early September. The composite image features ringlets and bands of varying sizes. The fatter bands near the edge are up to 300 miles (500 kilometers) wide.

NASA nicknamed this spinning vortex of astorm seen on Saturns north poleThe Rose based on its resemblance to the Earth flower. The Cassini image is shown in false-color to highlight the storms whirling cloud patterns.

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These twoimages show the change in colors at Saturns north polar regionfrom June 2013 to April 2017. The hexagon is from a jet stream system.

Cassini got agood look at Saturns moon Enceladusand its heavily cratered northern side in this image taken in late 2016. The southern end of Enceladus features smoother terrain thanks to geologic activity.

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Were used to seeing a single crescent moon in Earths night sky, but the view from around Saturn can be very different. Saturn hosts dozens of moons. Cassini saw this gracefulimage of three crescent moonsin 2015. The moons are Titan (Saturns largest), Rhea and Mimas.

Titan looks colorfulin this composite infrared image assembled from Cassini shots taken during a November 2015 flyby. Scientists can see through the moons hazy atmosphere and inspect surface details through the use of near-infrared wavelengths. Titan is Saturns largest moon.

No, this isnt a close-up look at a Van Gogh painting. Its a Cassini image of theShangri-La Sand Seaon Saturns moon Titan. It shows a series of undulating sand dunes.

In late 2015, Cassini swooped by one of Saturns odder moons,Prometheus. Prometheus has an oblong shape and pockmarked surface that gives it a distinct resemblance to a potato.

Cassini caught sight of this stunningview of Saturns moon Dionebisected by the planets rings in late 2015. It looks like Dione could split apart like a plastic Easter egg.

See Saturns secrets through NASA Cassinis finest views

Though Cassini orbited the planet for 13 years, that time span represents less than half of a Saturnian year, which lasts for nearly 30 Earth years.

Cassinis perspective in this viewfrom October 2016 makes it look like the moon Mimas could run into Saturns rings, but its actually 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) away.

Saturns moon Hyperion shows off its sponge-like surface texture in this Cassini image from mid-2015.NASA notesHyperion is Saturns largest irregularly shaped moon.

NASA believes the yellowish haze comes from smog particles caused by an increase in solar radiation as Saturn reaches its northern summer solstice.

Update, Sept. 13 at 7 a.m. PT: Added eight images at the end.

Saturn sure has some weird-looking moons, including tinyAtlas, which even NASA admits looks like a UFO. A center bulge lends it the unique flying-saucer shape. Atlas is just 19 miles (30 kilometers) across. Cassini snapped this image in April 2017.

The Cassini spacecraft bid farewell to the galaxy with adeath dive into Saturns atmosphereon Sept. 15, 2017. The probe launched in 1997 and delivered unprecedented looks at the ringed planet and its many moons during its mission lifespan. These images represent some of Cassinis finest views from space.

A 2014 Cassini image captured arare view of three of Saturns moons. This dramatic look shows the planets rings along with Tethys, Hyperion and Prometheus. Tethys is one of Saturns largest moons. Heavily cratered Hyperion appears above and to the left of Tethys and small, potato-shaped Prometheus peeks out underneath the bottom edge of the rings.

Diones craggy, crater-filled surface is on full display in thisCassini close-up from mid-2015. The Saturn moon is just under 700 miles (1,125 kilometers) in diameter. The white line standing out above the moons surface is Saturns rings in the distance.

Saturns moon Mimas is one the ringed planets most famous companions thanks to itsresemblance to the planet-destroying Death Starspacecraft from Star Wars.

Before Cassini entered its 2017 Grand Finale dives between Saturn and its rings, it took a moment tolook back at its long-distant home planet. It might be hard to spot, but look for the bright point of light near the center of the image and you will find Earth seen from 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away.

You are seeing double. This image showstwo different Cassini views of Saturns moon Titan. The image on the left shows Titan in natural color while the image on the right is in false color, which makes the moons clouds stand out. Cassini captured these looks on March 21, 2017.

Saturns rings are made up of rocks, ice and dust. NASA released a series of close-up Cassini images of those fascinating formations in early 2017. This particularimage shows the planets A ringand was captured during the spacecrafts ring-grazing orbits prior to the start of its Grand Finale dives between the planet and the rings.

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On Oct. 28, 2016, Cassini gotone of its last full looks at Saturnand its rings from a distance, giving us a dramatic portrait of the planet.

This Cassini imageshows a large, turbulent storm raging on Saturns south pole. At 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) across, the storm is two-thirds Earths diameter. Though released in early 2016, the image is a composite of two images taken in July 2008.

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Cassini took this spectacularbacklit image of Saturnin 2012 when the spacecraft hid in the planets shadow. Details in the image show better thanks to enhanced color.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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Saturns rings look huge in comparison to the moon Mimas (seen just below the rings at the bottom). Despite their hulking appearance,NASA saysthe rings are actually very thin, no thicker than the height of a house. Cassini captured this image in July 2016.

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Cassini began a series of daring Grand Finale dives between Saturn and its rings in April 2017. This unprocessed image shows what the spacecraft saw during its first dive.

Cassini settled into anew orbit pattern in December 2016ahead of its Grand Finale of final dives around the planet in 2017. That new orbit gave the spacecraft an excellent view of the geometric cloudy storm patterns found on the planets north pole.


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