Storm Alley's latest, greatest resident, the recent lightning-producing storm seen by the Cassini spacecraft and Earth-based observers churns away. Turbulent eddies to the west (left) of the storm indicate that it is moving eastward relative to the westward-flowing winds at this latitude on Saturn.
Scientists gave the nickname "Storm Alley" to the area around 35 degrees south latitude because of the large amount of activity seen there from the beginning of the Cassini spacecraft's approach to Saturn in early 2004. The region has spawned two large and powerful storms since the Cassini spacecraft began observations.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 16, 2006, using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 750 nanometers, and at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 19 kilometers (12 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.