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Intricate curlicues and circular patterns of storms swirl through the high latitudes near Saturn's south pole in this image from Cassini.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 588,000 kilometers (365,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 140 degrees. At this high phase angle, the sun is illuminating the limb of the planet from almost the opposite side of Saturn from the spacecraft.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 5, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. Image scale is 32 kilometers (20 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.