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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Fly around Saturn in a gorgeous short film

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Around Saturn is a stunning look at out solar system's sixth planet, made entirely from images taken by Cassini in the style of early silent films.

Cassini has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004, surveying the planet, its rings and its satellites. Currently, it sends back to Earth over 60 RAW photos a day of Saturn in all of its moods, as well as its satellites, and NASA has made these images freely available for public use.

Fabio Di Donato, an IT consultant who likes to make videos in his spare time, has made use of this. He collated over 200,000 of the Cassini photos taken between 2004 and 2012, processed them from RAW to PNG and edited them together to create a film and set it to Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra: Waltz 2 as played by the Armonie Symphony Orchestra.

"The video is dedicated to the memory of Margherita Hack, astrophysicist and popular science writer," Di Donato wrote. "She made me love the stars." Hack passed away on 29 June at the age of 91.

Saturn's rings feature heavily in the video, along with several of its 62 moons, as well as the smaller "moonlets" that inhabit its rings. Watching the interplay of light and shadow across the planet and its satellites is just breathtaking.

Viewers should be warned that the video may not be suitable for those with photosensitive epilepsy.

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