NASA launched the Cassini spacecraft in 1997. It’s been orbiting Saturn since 2004. Now we have amazing closeup photos of the rings. . .only 746 million miles away.
“The second largest planet in our solar system, adorned with thousands of beautiful ringlets, Saturn is unique among the planets. It is not the only planet to have rings — made of chunks of ice and rock — but none are as spectacular or as complicated as Saturn’s. Like fellow gas giant Jupiter, Saturn is a massive ball of mostly hydrogen and helium.
Surrounding by 53 confirmed and nine provisional moons, Saturn is home to some of the most fascinating landscapes in our solar system. From the jets of Enceladus to the methane lakes on smoggy Titan, the Saturn system is a rich source of scientific discovery and still holds many mysteries.
The farthest planet from Earth observable by the unaided human eye, Saturn has been known since ancient times and is named for the Roman god of agriculture and wealth. The Greek equivalent was Cronos, the father of Zeus/Jupiter.” NASA