CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Saturn's Anti-Hurricanes
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Saturn's Anti-Hurricanes
PIA 07562

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  Vortices mingle amidst other turbulent motions in Saturn's atmosphere in these two comparison images. The image at right was taken about two Saturn rotations after the image at left.

Both views show latitudes from -23 degrees to -42 degrees. The region below center in these images (at -35 degrees) has seen regular storm activity since Cassini first approached Saturn in early-2004. Cassini investigations of the atmosphere from February to October 2004 showed that most of the oval-shaped storms in the latitude region near -35 degrees rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, with smaller storms occasionally merging into larger ones (see PIA06082 & PIA06083 for a movie of storm activity in this region).

On Earth, hurricanes in the Southern Hemisphere rotate in a clockwise fashion. Thus, the storms in these images of Saturn's southern latitudes could be called "anti-hurricanes." This backwards spiraling (compared to Earth) is common on the giant planets.

The images were taken with the narrow angle camera on July 4 and 5, 2005, using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 750 nanometers. During this time, Cassini's distance from Saturn was approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles). The image scale is about 14 kilometers (9 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: August 11, 2005 (PIA 07562)
Image/Caption Information

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