The latitude bands and swirling storms of Saturn, always intriguing to scientists, often are exquisitely beautiful as well. The turbulent atmosphere is dotted with storms; most are small, but some are much larger. The dark center of the dramatic beauty swirling near the south pole is easily 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the wide angle camera on July 31, 2005, using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of polarized infrared light centered at 752 nanometers from a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 78 kilometers (48 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.