Cassini Captures Views of Saturn's Rings

Now in Orbit, Probe Begins Sending Back Dazzling Images

Listen: Sounds of Saturn, Captured by Cassini as It Met the Planet's Magnetic Field

A view of Saturn's sunlit rings, taken July 1, 2004.

A view of Saturn's sunlit rings, taken July 1, 2004. Cassini is roughly 50,000 miles away from the center of Saturn, or 12,400 miles from the planet's clouds. NASA/JPL hide caption

itoggle caption NASA/JPL

Shortly after the Cassini spacecraft fired its rocket and entered orbit around Saturn late Wednesday night, the craft turned its cameras down to peer at Saturn's rings. The cameras snapped more than five dozen black-and-white images, which were beamed down to Earth Thursday. As NPR's Richard Harris reports, scientists are astonished, elated and puzzled by what they see.

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