NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured some of the closest-ever views of Saturn's rings, with new images revealing unprecedented levels of detail in the massive discs of icy particles orbiting the planet.
The new perspectives come courtesy of Cassini's "ring-grazing" mission phase, where the probe is making a series of orbital dives past the outer edge of Saturn's main ring system. These loops will be some of Cassini's last, with the almost 20-year-old spacecraft soon due to sacrifice itself, plunging into the gas giant this September.
"How fitting it is that we should go out with the best views of Saturn's rings we've ever collected," says Cassini Imaging Team Lead Carolyn Porco from the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Cassini's ring-grazing dives began in November last year, and the space probe is about halfway through its final 20 orbits.
While NASA scientists have seen some of the features pictured here before, we've never had a chance to observe the main rings with such high-definition images.
The new shots resolve details as small as 550 metres (0.3 miles) — about the same scale as some of Earth's tallest buildings.