CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
A Capital Storm

A great, eye-like vortex stares out of Saturn's roiling atmosphere. The storm is wide enough to span the distance from Washington, DC to London.

Bright Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) drifts past in the foreground.

This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 23, 2008 using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of polarized infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (783,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 72 kilometers (45 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 30, 2008 (PIA 09913)
Image/Caption Information
  A Capital Storm
PIA 09913

Avg Rating: 8.97/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
PNG 362 KB

Alliance Member Comments
Tiger (May 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM):
The phoenix has landed!!!! I am very happy and I`m sure everybody else is too! Congratulations to the engineers!
Red_dragon (May 30, 2008 at 7:50 AM):
Quite beautiful; it looks at lot as a pocket version of Jupiter's GRS