CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Deep Clouds

Bright puffs and ribbons of cloud drift lazily through Saturn's murky skies.

In contrast to the bold red, orange and white clouds of Jupiter, Saturn's clouds are overlain by a thick layer of haze. The visible cloud tops on Saturn are deeper in its atmosphere due to the planet's low density and cooler temperatures.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 18 degrees above the ringplane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 15, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (906,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 84 kilometers (52 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 27, 2008 (PIA 09910)
Image/Caption Information
  Deep Clouds
PIA 09910

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