Intricate curlicues and circular patterns of storms swirl through the high latitudes near Saturn's south pole in this image from the Cassini spacecraft.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 588,000 kilometers (365,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees. At this high phase angle, the sun is illuminating the limb of the planet from almost the opposite side of Saturn from the spacecraft.The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 5, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. Image scale is 32 kilometers (20 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.