This view of Saturn's southern polar region is dotted with flecks of bright cloud and several ominous dark spots. The level of fine detail visible here is remarkable.
The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on July 24, 2004, from a distance of 6.8 million kilometers (4.2 million miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image scale is 40 kilometers (25 miles) per pixel. The image was slightly contrast enhanced to bring out features in the atmosphere.
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.