The movie seen here was constructed from seven images taken in the red spectrum using the CB2 filter. The images were taken over a five-hour period by Cassini's imaging science subsystem when the spacecraft was about 45 degrees above the horizon. Imaging team scientists re-projected the images to show a view from directly over the pole, keeping up with the rotation of the planet to bring out the relative motion of the clouds. The winds at the different latitudes produce the motion seen on the screen. The scientists determined the rotation rate at each latitude, and interpolated in time to make a 1680-step movie that flows smoothly at 60 frames per second as the clouds swirl around the center. The small circle going around the outside gives the position of the Sun as the planet turned during the 5-hour period. The movie shows the latitudes from 88.5 degrees to the pole, a distance of about 1250 miles (2000 kilometers). The winds near the center are the fastest and blow at speeds of 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second).
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.