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This image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals the wind patterns within a large vortex that was spawned by a giant northern storm on Saturn. The arrows indicate the local direction of the winds. The vortex, a clockwise-spinning swirl, was spun off from the head of this storm in early December 2010, shortly after the storm erupted. The bright head of the storm moved swiftly in a westward direction around the planet, while this vortex drifted more slowly.
This data was obtained on Jan. 11, 2011.
The Cassini Solstice 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.