CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Bright Equator

Bright Equator
PIA 06487

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  Turbulent swirls and eddies mark the southern boundary of Saturn's bright equatorial band in this Cassini image taken in infrared light.

Saturn's rings stretch across the upper right portion of this view. The image was intended to show atmospheric details primarily, and the rings are overexposed in this 22 second exposure. Looking through the gossamer C ring, thin shadows of the rings on the planet are visible at right.

The image was taken with the narrow angle camera on September 12, 2004, from a distance of 8.7 million kilometers (5.4 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 103 kilometers (64 miles) per pixel. Contrast has been enhanced slightly to increase visibility of fine details.

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 29, 2004 (PIA 06487)
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