Saturn's richly dynamic atmosphere rewards viewers with unique and fascinating structures with every new observation. Here, the Cassini spacecraft uses the near-infrared filters on its wide-angle camera to get a better look at some of Saturn's cloud patterns, shaped by wind and storms in Saturn's atmosphere.
This view is centered on 30 degrees north latitude, 42 degrees west longitude. North is up and rotated 44 degrees to the right. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 24, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 440,000 miles (710,000 kilometers) from Saturn's surface and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 14 degrees. Image scale is 26 miles (42 kilometers) 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.