CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Clouds like Sandstone

Whorls, streamers and eddies play in the banded atmosphere of a gas giant. Strong image enhancement renders unto Saturn's clouds a grainy texture not unlike sandstone. However, the loss in delicate smoothness is compensated for by an increase in discernible detail.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728 (green channel), 752 (red channel), and 890 (blue channel) nanometers. The semi-transparent red features across the image are clouds detected by the 752 nanometer filter.

The view was acquired on Aug. 19, 2005 at a distance of approximately 492,000 kilometers (306,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 26 kilometers (16 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: May 7, 2007 (PIA 08934)
Image/Caption Information
  Clouds like Sandstone
PIA 08934

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Alliance Member Comments
DEChengst (May 8, 2007 at 12:46 PM):
Saturn posing as Jupiter. Isn't that illegal or something ;)
Red_dragon (May 7, 2007 at 7:56 AM):
Very psychedelic and very interesting; if you didn't say it was taken by Cassini at Saturn, it could be taken as a image of Jupiter. Again, many thanks for these stunning images.