CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Flowing Cloud Bands
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
Cassini observes the swirling features in Saturn's northern cloud bands.

Ring-cast shadows darken the planet's northern hemisphere at increasingly lower latitudes. In late 2004, not long after Cassini arrived in orbit (see PIA06177), the shadows extended much farther north. Their southerly slide continues as the seasons change on Saturn.

This view is centered on 25 degrees north latitude and was acquired from about 39 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 18, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (716,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 65 kilometers (41 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: March 27, 2008 (PIA 09867)
Image/Caption Information
  Flowing Cloud Bands
PIA 09867

Avg Rating: 8.93/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
PNG 450 KB