CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Cornucopia of Color

Cornucopia of Color
PIA 10578

Avg Rating: 9.04/10

Full Size 1011x1011:
PNG 1.2 MB
  A chef's bounty of colors is represented in this full color view of Saturn's northern hemisphere. Butternut, peach, and olive hues have replaced the azure blue of winter.

The blue of Saturn's winter hemisphere during the early Cassini prime mission still remains a puzzle. Over the course of time, the blue color has faded and has been replaced with bands of other hues (see PIA11141).

This picture is a combination of images taken in red, green and blue light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 1, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (708,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 65 kilometers (40 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: February 13, 2009 (PIA 10578)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Feb 16, 2009 at 11:51 AM):
Although it's not the first time the Cassini Spacecraft took an image similar to this one it's showing a somewhat new impression of Saturn's colors except the azure blue. Here, Saturn is colorful, but of course less colorful than Jupiter. Also, it's beautiful and showing very many details.
Red_dragon (Feb 14, 2009 at 5:14 AM):
No matter we've seen stuff as this so many times before, they continue to be so captivating and beautiful as always. Thanks, CICLOPS, and keep them coming!
NeKto (Feb 13, 2009 at 8:32 AM):
what a beautiful image. seeing this color change close up is well worth the price of admission. (just my opinion) i am eager to hear what the scientist come up with to explain Saturn's seasonal colors.