An image looking in a spectral region where methane absorbs light shows the delicate banded nature of Saturn's atmosphere. Notable is the small white spot just north of the dark south polar collar. The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on May 4, 2004 at a distance of 29.7 million kilometers (18.5 million miles) from Saturn through a filter centered at 727 nm. Image scale is 177 kilometers (110 miles) per pixel. The image has been contrast-enhanced 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.