Amid all the apocalyptic predictions and real-life threats such as climate change, it is easy to be overcome with fear, dread or hilarity (after one too many meme cartoon send-ups of the Mayan calendar).
So how about reconnecting with wonder instead? This photo of the gas giant Saturn backlit by the sun reminds us of the splendor of the heavens. Saturn is tilting toward Mother Earth right now in such a way that its rings are clearly visible. As a yellowish dot in the sky, the sixth planet from the sun cozied up to a crescent moon earlier this month and participated in an alignment or two.
Magnified through a telescope, the majestic striped orb shows off its famed rings. Forget about seeing Mother Earth as the Big Blue Marble, and its counterpart, the Big Black Marble, looking oh so vulnerable against the backdrop of infinite space. Saturn perseveres, ethereal and distant.
So sluff off your cares as you contemplate this most magnificent image obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, and see if you can spot some of its moons.
For more stunning Saturn photos, see Saturn, Solar System's Time Capsule, Dates Back More Than 4 Billion Years.