One of the coolest things I have ever seen

No wizardry, no CGI… just photos from Cassini near Saturn.

This is as cool as cool gets.

I would add the video in a small box here, but… go NOW to Astronomy Pic of the Day.

Just go. Watch it full screen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geremia says:

    And the Protestants still don’t believe in analogia entis?

  2. Catholictothecore says:

    Wow is all I can say!

  3. lucy says:

    That’s just too fantastic for words.

  4. cblanch says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow!! If this is what we’re able to put our eyes on now, what awaits those who are going to heaven?!

  5. RichR says:

    Hard to believe!

    I like the Agnus Dei instrumental in the background.

  6. APX says:

    I didn’t think Saturn’s rings were that distinct.

    I saw IMAX in there some place. Does this suggest it making an appearance to an IMAX theatre some day? ‘Cause that would be uber cool.

  7. Paul M says:

    Thanks, Father. Cannot wait to show my 3rd grader…

  8. ejcmartin says:

    I too shall be showing it to my third grader. Very cool. Saturn’s rings are once again visible by small telescope or binoculars. For a few years they have been edge on from our viewpoint. Saturn rises in at 8:30 or so and would be in the western sky at dawn.

  9. Jack Hughes says:

    looks like the opening introduction scene for Star Trek The Next Generation

  10. beckymozart says:

    Did anyone else see the Death Star at 1:33?

  11. rtjl says:


    One of the coolest things I have ever seen is Saturn through a telescope that I built. Several years ago I decided that I wanted a telescope. After scouring the internet for descriptions of how to build one, I decided that I could build one for myself. I built a telescope using a dobsonion design with a six inch mirror. On the first night out, I pointed it at the brightest light in the sky. And there she was, Saturn, sitting there as pretty as anything you could imagine – rings, moons and all. My internal reaction was very much like – “Oh my God! The books are true!”. Now of course I knew that the books were true before this, but it’s one thing to see things in pictures and books: it’s another thing entirely to see them with your very own eyes. I soon went on to survey the other planets in the Solar System and some of the more easily found deep space objects, feeling very much as I imagine Galileo must have felt.

    If any of you have never looked through a good telescope, do your self a favor and get in touch with your local astronomy club. They would almost certainly be glad to give you a tour of the night sky. It will be well worth your while.

  12. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Yes! That’s exactly what I thought.

    It’s actually Mimas, one of Saturn’s moons, but the resemblance is eerie.

    It is difficult to comprehend the vast scale of what we are seeing. Fortunately, I spent some time among the glaciers of eastern Iceland, and can understand analogically (thank you, Thomas Aquinas) the enormity of space.

  13. Cantor says:

    Imagine the day…

    “Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has advised that we’re on final approach to Saturn…”

    What a glorious universe it is out there.

  14. q7swallows says:

    This ALMOST pulled me out of a very deep funk.  Just suffered a huge defeat today in trying to get the EF reinstated in our parish. Long story short: our solo pastor has serious pulmonary afflictions and is away for at least 4 more months of convalescence.  Had a  very willing & able local dual-rite priest to offer the EF (DAILY!) and everything . . .  

    Had the “Adagio for Strings” NOT been accompanied by such beautiful photos, it would have shoved me completely over the edge of depression.

    Sorry, but there is no orb in the damn universe that equals the One that floats above the altar in the hands of a priest.  Without It . . . everything else is just a . . . black hole.     

  15. Hooksdoc says:

    Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei:
    The skies tell the story of the glory of God.

  16. irishgirl says:

    Wow, simply wow! This is soooo cool! Thanks for posting this, Father Z!
    ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God’-the tune of Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ is ringing in my ears right now!
    ‘Adagio for Strings’ makes my eyes fill with tears; but it was fitting music for this view!
    How wonderful You are, O Lord, in all Your works!
    Makes me wish I had a telescope to view the night skies!

  17. jaykay says:

    Just too beautiful. Thank you for the great link, Fr. I was also reminded of the intro to “Star Trek – next generation” – nice to see I wasn’t alone!

    And of course I couldn’t help thinking of this:

    But I think the Samuel Barber backtrack was more appropriate, somehow.

  18. Brad says:

    Who am I, Lord, that you should notice me?

  19. Bob says:

    Proud to have been a part of the Cassini launch team; discovery images like these are just spectular.

  20. Seattle Slough says:

    The tide rolls in, the tide rolls out. Atheism unfounded again.

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