Bright, high-altitude clouds interact with dark, deeper structures near Saturn's south pole. The dark vortices near lower right are two especially large examples of such deep structures. These vortices create eddies in the higher clouds at adjacent latitudes as they pass by.
This image has been strongly contrast enhanced in order to sharpen details in the layered clouds near lower right.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 27, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 457,000 kilometers (284,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 24 kilometers (15 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/. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.