The turbulent boundaries between dark belts and bright zones are seen prominently in this processed image of Saturn's southern atmosphere. Disturbed boundaries between these cloud bands are due to wind shear and density differences between adjacent bands.
The planet has a blander appearance in natural color images, but this infrared view uncovers far more detail.
The image was taken with the wide angle camera on December 14, 2004 from a distance of approximately 614,000 kilometers (382,000 miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 890 nanometers. The image scale is 37 kilometers (23 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.