Saturn's bright equatorial region displays prominent swirls and eddies in this Cassini image taken on September 15, 2004.
The bright arc across the top of the image is Saturn's B ring, which was overexposed in this atmosphere-targeted image. Beneath this bright swath, the sheer C ring grants Cassini a view of thin shadows the rings cast onto the planet.
The image was taken with the narrow angle camera from a distance of 8.5 million kilometers (5.6 million miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light. The image scale is 101 kilometers (63 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.