If you haven’t been following the Cassini spacecraft’s second mission to Saturn, here’s a video that will hook you in. It features incredible black-and-white images of Saturn and its moons, all captured by Cassini’s “camera” — also known as the Cassini-Huygens Imaging Science Subsystem — and designer/director Chris Abbas, who edited together footage from Cassini’s archive and set it to a great Nine Inch Nails soundtrack.
According to NASA, the Cassini will continue orbiting Saturn until May 2017. It has already discovered some amazing things about Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, including the possibility that Titan’s current state, complete with its lakes, rivers, rain, snow, clouds, mountains and even volcanoes, may tell us something about what earth was like before life evolved. But Abbas’s short film would be beautiful to watch even without any knowledge of the science behind it.
Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.