CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Strange Shape

Strange Shape
PIA 08152

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  This atmospheric close-up shows a bright, somewhat distorted feature in Saturn's southern hemisphere. This feature might be a transient eddy which formed and then collided with an obstacle (perhaps a vortex) in the zone of wind shear between two opposing east-west flowing jets. It could also simply indicate a place where two jets are interacting.

The image was taken in polarized green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 7, 2006, at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 17 kilometers (10 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: April 7, 2006 (PIA 08152)
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