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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Satellite Takes Shots of Saturn

PASADENA, California -- NASA has released the first picture of Saturn created from images taken by the Cassini spacecraft en route to the ringed planet.

The picture, a composite of images made with various filters, was the result of a successful test of Cassini's camera, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement.

The image released by the U.S. space agency shows Saturn's shadow falling across its rings and includes the planet's largest moon, Titan. Saturn and Cassini were 285 million kilometers apart last week when the images were taken.

Officials who have worked on the mission said it was good to finally see Saturn through the spacecraft's eyes.

"Cassini has sighted the ringed planet looking distant, mysterious and serene," said Carolyn Porco, a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and leader of the science team using the Cassini camera.

Cassini is scheduled to reach Saturn on July 1, 2004. The mission to study Saturn, its rings and moons is expected to last at least four years.