In Depth

A legacy of discovery

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Science  22 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6357, pp. 1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6357.1220

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Summary

Over 13 years and 293 orbits, Cassini produced more than 450,000 images. They exposed a Saturn system rich with mystery—and two potentially habitable moons. The insights began with the Huygens probe, dropped on Titan—Saturn's largest moon—revealing a world of hydrocarbons, and continued on to Enceladus, a tiny frozen moon, where Cassini spotted jets of water spewing from its south pole, signs of a liquid water ocean under a thin icy crust. The spacecraft and its international team watched storms on Saturn's placid surface and, as its long seasons turned to summer, spotted a mysterious hexagonal jet stream on its north pole.