A chef's bounty of colors is represented in this full color view of Saturn's northern hemisphere. Butternut, peach, and olive hues have replaced the azure blue of winter.
The blue of Saturn's winter hemisphere during the early Cassini prime mission still remains a puzzle. Over the course of time, the blue color has faded and has been replaced with bands of other hues (see PIA11141).
This picture is a combination of images taken in red, green and blue light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 1, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (708,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 65 kilometers (40 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.