November 12, 1980: Voyager I travels within 80,000 miles of Saturn.
NASA’s Voyager was not the first probe to reach Saturn, but the images it beamed back to Earth were far superior to those its predecessor (Pioneer 11) had taken. Voyager's high-resolution photos affirmed that Saturn's rings were far more numerous than previously thought. It also captured detailed images of a few of Saturn's moons, including (pictured) Rhea, Dione, and Titan. However, Voyager's instruments were unable to penetrate the dense haze of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and the only known moon to have an atmosphere.
Even so, Voyager I was the first probe to provide detailed images of Jupiter, Saturn, and their moons. As of this moment, Voyager I is approximately 17.9 billion kilometers away from Earth.
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