During its time in orbit, Cassini has spotted many beautiful cat's eye-shaped patterns like the ones visible here. These patterns occur in places where the winds and the atmospheric density at one latitude are different from those at another latitude.
The opposing east-west flowing cloud bands are the dominant patterns seen here and elsewhere in Saturn's atmosphere.
Contrast in the image was enhanced to aid the visibility of atmospheric features.
The image was taken with the wide angle camera on Aug. 20, 2005, from a distance of approximately 420,000 kilometers (261,000 miles) from Saturn using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The image scale is 22 kilometers (13 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.