Saturn’s Greatest Storm

Unlike other planets in the solar system, Saturn stores up huge amounts of energy over many Earth decades, and then unleashes it all at once in the form of an awesome, swirling, massive electrical storm that lasts for months. Scientists don’t know why Saturn behaves this way, but it’s a once-a-year occurrence on the ringed planet. Once a Saturnian year, that is: a year there is 30 Earth years.

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As Seen by Cassini: Saturn’s Rings & Tiny Moon Prometheus

As the 13-year international Cassini mission to explore Saturn draws to a close, the spacecraft has been diving between the gas giant and its innermost rings to explore uncharted territory before finally plunging one final time into the planet on Sept. 11.

In this photo, Saturn’s tiny moon Prometheus – just 53 miles wide – can be seen as a faint speck near the planet’s narrow and ghostly F-ring.

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