CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Storms Embrace

Storms Embrace
PIA 07677

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  Two Saturnian storms swirl in the region informally dubbed "storm alley" by scientists. This mid-latitude region has been active with storms since Cassini scientists began monitoring Saturn in early 2004.

The large storm at left is at least 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles) across from north to south. This is bigger than typical storms in the region, which are the size of terrestrial hurricanes, or about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) across. To the left, the smaller storm is about 700 kilometers (400 miles) across.

The two storms are interacting; their filamentary arms are intertwined, and they might have merged a few days after this image was taken. See PIA06082 & PIA06083 for movies of storm activity in this region.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 9, 2005, at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Saturn. The image was obtained using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 727 nanometers. The image scale is 38 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.

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

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: January 19, 2006 (PIA 07677)
Image/Caption Information