Concept Image Passed off as Pic of Saturn Rings by NASA’s Cassini

·2-min read

An extraordinary photo of Saturn is doing the rounds on the internet that claims to be the closest photo of the planet from inside its rings, taken by the Cassini Spacecraft, two weeks ago.

However, we found out that the claim is misleading, as the photo is a concept image put out by NASA. Not just that, the photo can’t be taken by Cassini spacecraft, as the historic mission ended in 2017.

CLAIM

The claim that the Cassini spacecraft took the closest photo of Saturn two weeks ago by a Twitter user ‘@redditSpacePorn’ has over 6,000 likes and 893 retweets.

An archived version of the tweet can be found <a href="https://archive.st/ehbf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be found here.

The claim is viral on Facebook and Twitter and the archived links can be found here, here, and here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We conducted a reverse image search and found an article by ‘Space.com’ that had used the photo. The caption in the photo read, ‘This artist's concept shows Cassini's view during one of its final dives over Saturn. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech )’.

We also found the photo on NASA’s official site, which was published on 6 April 2017, months before Cassini plunged into Saturn.

The Cassini–Huygens space-research mission, commonly called Cassini, involved a collaboration among NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency to send a space probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.

Cassini made its final approach to Saturn and dove into the planet’s atmosphere on 15 September 2017, spending 20 years in space and 13 of those exploring Saturn.

Clearly, a concept image made its way to social media with a misleading claim that it is the original photo of Saturn from inside its rings.

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