In Depth

Cassini: Incredible photos from Nasa’s ‘revolutionary’ Saturn mission

Probe set to self-destruct with plunge towards Saturn after 20 years in space

Twenty years after it was launched into space, the Cassini probe will end its life in spectacular style today.

The unmanned spacecraft travelled two billion miles over seven years to reach Saturn's orbit, but after 13 years spent examining the ringed planet and its moons, it is now running low on fuel - so scientists made the decision to pull the plug.

At lunchtime today, Cassini will embark its final mission, using its last fuel reserves to dive towards Saturn, where it will ultimately be shredded and burnt up in the planet's atmosphere.

It will be a fittingly epic swan song for a probe that has "revolutionised our understanding of the sixth planet from the Sun," says the BBC.

Cassini's powerful cameras have documented its adventures in hundreds of thousands of photos, producing images of Saturn unlike anything seen before.

Here are some of the most revealing and beautiful photos captured by Cassini in its 13-year orbit:

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