The Cassini Saturn orbiter just completed its second very close flyby of Saturn's mid-sized iceball moon Dione, and the images from that encounter have been streaming onto the Cassini raw images website this morning.
It's been a little while since I posted any Cassini pictures just because they were pretty, so here's a few recent ones, produced by amateurs from the images available on the Cassini raw images website.
I posted already some neat images from Cassini's flyby of Helene last week, and commented on how most of the images from that encounter missed Helene entirely or only caught the moon at one edge of the camera field of view. Here's an example of one of those images.
NASA has just announced that once Cassini's Equinox Mission runs out in June of this year, they will extend it a further seven more years, long enough for the spacecraft to see Saturn through its solstice!!
I love posting animations of Cassini images that I compose from frames grabbed from the mission's raw images website, but they are shoddy compared to the versions that eventually come out from the mission's imaging team.
Iapetus! I'm always interested in Cassini images, but five years ago this month I was refreshing the Cassini raw images website several times a day, eagerly anticipating the mission's first good encounter with Iapetus.