Visions of Saturn, 2009 (past event)

Visions of Saturn was a free exhibition of stunning photos from the Cassini-Huygens mission, held at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in 2009.

This exhibition has now closed

Visions of Saturn was a free exhibition of stunning photos from the Cassini-Huygens mission, held at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 22 June to 31 August 2009.

The background to Visions of Saturn exhibition

Saturn is the second largest planet in our Solar System. Famous for its beautiful rings, it also has more than 60 moons. Between 1979 and 1981, three spacecraft made brief fly-bys of Saturn. They sent back tantalising images that raised as many questions as they answered. Then, in 1997, a more powerful spacecraft was launched to help unravel Saturn’s mysteries.

Cassini-Huygens, a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), arrived at Saturn in 2004 after a seven-year voyage across billions of kilometres of space.

Accompanying the Cassini spacecraft was ESA’s Huygens probe. This was designed to land on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and send back images of its surface. Since 2004 Cassini and Huygens have painted an astonishing picture of these remote worlds.

Famous namesakes

The Cassini-Huygens mission is named after two famous astronomers.

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625–1712) was a mathematician, astronomer and engineer. He discovered four of Saturn’s moons. A dark band in the rings is named the Cassini Division in his honour.

Christiaan Huygens (1629–95) was a mathematician, astronomer and physicist. Huygens discovered Saturn’s giant moon Titan and was the first to understand the thin, flat nature of Saturn's rings.

With thanks to...

The Royal Observatory Greenwich would like to thank Geraint Jones and the Cassini-Huygens team.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, DC. See NASA/JPL's Cassini mission website

Images are courtesy of ESA, NASA, JPL, USGS, the Space Science Institute and the Universities of Colorado and Arizona. See NASA/JPL's Photojournal - Saturn gallery

In partnership with CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Observations)

Find out more about exhibitions and events at Royal Observatory Greenwich: Browse current exhibitions and events