Today, Cassini made its first dive between Saturn’s rings. Over the years, Cassini’s taken some breathtaking, literally out-of-this-world photos of the planet. Here are a few of my favorites, courtesy of JPL@NASA:

7656_MAIN_PIA21445_figA.jpgEarth, as seen between Saturn’s rings

7645_PIA20528_full.pngSaturn’s high-speed winds

Stereo view (3D) of Pan, one of Saturn’s smallest moons. It kind of looks like a peach pit.

6035_PIA18411.jpgMontage of Phoebe, Saturn’s largest irregular moon. (Am I being too obvious with the reference?)

IMG004899.jpgOverhead shot” of Saturn (spatial orientation in space is weird)

23_IMG002314.jpgPanoramic shot of Saturn, 165 images combined

7355_PIA18367.jpgCriss-crossed rings

5868_IMG004868.jpg“The Day the Earth Smiled”

And, in honor of Cassini’s grande finale, here is a poem by Tracy K. Smith, entitled “My God, It’s Full of Stars.”

Favorite line: Our eyes adjust to the dark.