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Saturn's southern polar region exhibits concentric rings of cloud which encircle a dark spot at the pole. To the north, wavy patterns are evident, resulting from the atmosphere moving with different speeds at different latitudes.
The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on July 13, 2004, from a distance of 5 million kilometers (3.1 million miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 889 nanometers. The image scale is 29 kilometers (18 miles) per pixel. Contrast has been enhanced slightly to aid visibility.
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 Office of Space Science, 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.