See where the Cassini Spacecraft crashed into Saturn

By Mike Wall
September 18, 2017, 3:13:01 PM EDT

Cassini burned up like a meteor in Saturn's atmosphere early this morning (Sept. 15), ending its historic 13-year study of the ringed-planet system with a dramatic final plunge.

And you can see exactly where Cassini went in, thanks to a series of images the probe took during its approach to the gas giant yesterday afternoon (Sept. 14)

cassini site

This infrared-light image, made from data obtained by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft, shows where the probe entered Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017. Cassini captured the image a day earlier, when it was about 394,000 miles (634,000 kilometers) from Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


Some of these photos are in visible light, whereas others are in the infrared. All were taken when Cassini was about 394,000 miles (634,000 kilometers) from Saturn, NASA officials said.

The spacecraft burned up in a patch of Saturn sky at 9.4 degrees north latitude and 53 degrees west longitude. The location "was at this time on the night side of the planet but would rotate into daylight by the time Cassini made its final dive into Saturn's upper atmosphere, ending its remarkable 13-year exploration of Saturn," NASA officials wrote in a description of the visible-light images.

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