Just before Cassini was vaporized while falling through the extreme pressure of Saturn’s clouds, the bus-sized spacecraft beamed home an image of the spot where it would meet its fate.

The photo is by no means the best ever taken by Cassini — that’s an incredibly tall order given the gorgeous photos the spacecraft has produced over the years — but it does have a poignancy that other images of Saturn do not.

SEE ALSO: How Cassini quietly transformed our understanding of the solar system

Cassini performed exactly as mission managers hoped it would for 13 years at Saturn, and even at the end, as it was plunging down into Saturn, it still did what it was designed for. …

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