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10 incredible images of Saturn

By: Katherine Butler on Dec. 18, 2018, 11:16 a.m.
false color image of Saturn

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

6 of 11

In false color as seen by Voyager 1

Voyager 1 was launched by NASA in 1977 to explore the outer reaches of our solar system. It flew by Saturn in 1980, coming within 77,000 miles of the ringed planet's top atmosphere. Voyager revealed the complex structure of Saturn's rings. The rings, which surround Saturn at its equator, do not touch the planet. There are seven rings made up of thousands of narrow ringlets. The ringlets are made up of billions of pieces of ice. However, the rings won't last forever. In December 2018, NASA announced that the rings could disappear in the next 100 to 300 million years.