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Clouds in Saturn's atmosphere create an intricate pattern reminiscent of whipped cream swirling in coffee.
The view is centered on a region 15 degrees south of the planet's equator. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 18, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 727 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 107 degrees. Image scale is 14 kilometers (9 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.