Waltz Around Saturn With This Beautiful Animation

by Jason Major on July 19, 2013

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In honor of this today’s Wave at Saturn and The Day the Earth Smiled events, celebrating images to be taken of Earth from Saturn, here’s a wonderful movie showing highlights from Cassini’s exploration of the giant planet, its magnificent rings, and fascinating family of moons.

Assembled by Fabio Di Donato in memory of astrophysicist, author and activist Margherita Hack, who passed away June 29 at the age of 91, this video is an impressive tour of the Saturnian system — and a truly stunning tribute as well.

“She made me love the stars,” Fabio wrote.

Just one of the many images from Cassini used to make up "Around Saturn"

Just one of the many images from Cassini used to make up “Around Saturn”

This video shows a selection from more than 200,000 pictures taken by the Cassini spacecraft around Saturn’s rings in a period between 2005 and 2013. RAW images were processed to PNG thanks to the Vicar-to-PNG procedure provided by Jessica McKellar.

The music is Jazz Suite No.2: VI Waltz 2 by Shostakovich, performed by the Armonie Symphony Orchestra.

As always, you can see the latest images and news from the Cassini mission here, and find out how your photo is going to be taken from 900 million miles away (and also 60 million miles away from Mercury!) here.

Video: Fabio Di Donato. Original images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.

P.S.: Want to get a personalized certificate saying you “Waved at Saturn?” Click here.


A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

TheDalaiSputnik July 19, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I think of these kids of videos as travelogs from the future. What a vacation it would be, crossing the ring plane, snapping photos of the moons. Nice that he used Shostakovich instead of The Blue Danube. A beautiful video and tribute.

Dido X Dido July 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Thank you for the Beautiful comment :) Your thoughts and imagination inspired by the video make me really happy of having spent time on it!
p.s. My friend Erica Alberti helped me finding the right Waltz ;)

Tim McDaniel July 19, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I just don’t get the ending. So Dave Bowman is standing around in this antique mansion, then he’s old and on his deathbed, then what’s with that giant fetus looking at Earth?

Dido X Dido July 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM


Aqua4U July 19, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Fantastico! Ancora una volta, per favore!

Dido X Dido July 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Grazie! :-)

InTheory July 19, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Wow, that was jarring. So much to see and no time to appreciate. Slow it down by a factor of ten or twenty and it might be a nice tour of the Saturnian neighborhood.

Too much Red Bull and espresso.

shawnirwin July 19, 2013 at 10:55 PM

I like the video in color of Saturn they put out a while back much better!

Dido X Dido July 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Think, they often tell me I’m slow :D
Anyway I’ve never drunk RedBull in my life but Espresso mmm :-)

InTheory July 21, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I wasn’t kidding. I’d love to see a more sedate version where I had time to enjoy the views.

Congratulations on the RedBull, it tastes like carbonated cough syrup anyway. An espresso and a candy bar will have the same effect.

StockportJambo July 20, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Sorry, that made me feel sick. :(

Charles French July 20, 2013 at 11:30 PM

I enjoyed it very much.

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