CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Saturnian atmospheric storm

A vortex, or large atmospheric storm, is visible at 74 degrees north latitude in this color composite of Voyager 2 Saturn images obtained Aug. 25 from a range of 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles).

Three wide-angle-camera images taken through green, orange and blue filters were used.

This particular storm system seems to be one of the few large-scale structures in Saturn's polar region, which otherwise is dominated by much smaller-scale features suggesting convection. The darker, bluish structure (upper right) oriented east to west strongly suggests the presence of a jet stream at these high latitudes.

The appearance of a strong east-west flow in the polar-region could have a major influence on models of Saturn's atmospheric circulation, if the existence of such a flow can be substantiated in time sequences of Voyager images. The smallest features visible in this photograph are about 20 km. (12 mi.) across.

The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Acquired: August 1981
  Saturnian atmospheric storm
PIA 01379

Full Size 404x665:
PNG 328 KB