Nasa Unveils Dramatic New View Of Saturn's Rings (PHOTOS)

01/10/2012 09:54 BST | Updated 30/11/2012 10:12 GMT

Nasa has unveiled a dramatic new view of Saturn's rings.

Pictured by the Cassini spacecraft, the near-infrared photograph depicts the layered rings around the planet in amazing detail.

It is possible to see the rings casting a shadow on the planet's southern hemisphere as the moon Enceladus hovers in the corner of the image.


The shot was taken on June 15, 2012, at a distance of about 1.8 million miles from the planet.

The craft, which is a joint effort by Nasa, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, arrived at Saturn in 2004 and has since observed the planet and its moons, as well as Jupiter and other objects in space.

The mission expected to continue until at least 2017, where it is expected Cassini will crash into the planet.

The end of the mission will coincide with that of Juno, a spacecraft orbiting around Jupiter, which will also crashland. No more missions to the outer planets are currently planned by Nasa.