CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Swirling Clouds

Swirling Clouds
PIA 12542

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  Cassini watches as clouds swirl through Saturn's equatorial latitudes.

The two transitions between the light and dark areas seen here north and south of the ringplane are each located at about 13 degrees north and south latitude, respectively. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 22, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 950,000 kilometers (590,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 66 degrees. Image scale is 53 kilometers (33 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: February 4, 2010 (PIA 12542)
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