CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Stormy Days

Cassini's prying infrared vision allows details of Saturn's storm-ridden hydrogen atmosphere to be revealed as never before.

North of the dark south polar region is what may be a "polygonal wave" structure developing in the atmosphere. Such a wave was seen in the northern polar region in Voyager images and had a hexagon shape that surrounded the pole.

This view has been magnified and enhanced to improve contrast in the visible features. The image was taken using a compression scheme that decreases image file size for storage onboard the spacecraft, and thus the image appears slightly blocky, or "pixelated" following enhancement.

The image was taken with the wide angle camera on July 31, 2005, through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers from a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 36 degrees. Resolution in the original image was 78 kilometers (48 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: September 23, 2005 (PIA 07593)
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  Stormy Days
PIA 07593

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