Amazing photographic animation of Cassini’s Saturn flyby

The Cassini unmanned probe to Saturn has been a resounding success. A joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency, it’s been studying the ringed planet since 2004. Cassini has been sending back detailed images of Saturn, its rings, and its moons and expanding our knowledge of the solar system.

Check out this amazing video made up of hundreds of thousands of Cassini photographs put one after another to recreate the flyby. There’s no CGI, no trick photography, these are all real images that, as the folks over at Tecca point out, are every bit as good as anything Hollywood can create us. This film is actually a preview of an IMAX feature currently under production by the nonprofit Outside In.

Before it got to Saturn, Cassini also flew past Venus, an asteroid, and Jupiter. I’m hoping those images will be in the movie too.

While I’m not going to be putting on my backpack and heading to Saturn anytime soon, images like this get me in the mood to travel. It’s that sense of exploration, learning about the unknown, that drives us to reach into space and see what’s out there. Cassini may be just an unmanned probe, but through the images it sends back we can all travel with it.