Holiday lights: New views of Saturn and its moons

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Associated Press

Posted on December 24, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 24 at 8:01 AM

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft has sent holiday greetings from the outer solar space.

The space agency on Monday released dazzling new images of the ringed planet Saturn and its moons. The Cassini spacecraft took the pictures earlier this year.

Saturn resembled an ornament in one image, with a jet stream swirling at its north pole along with a hurricane-like storm.

Cassini also peered through the hazy atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, revealing hydrocarbon lakes. The icy Saturn moon Enceladus appears as a white snowball.

Cassini, funded by NASA and the European and Italian space agencies, was launched in 1997. The spacecraft reached Saturn in 2004 and has been studying the planet and its many moons.

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