CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Over Saturn's Turbulent North

Over Saturn\'s Turbulent North
PIA 21052

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  This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft was obtained about half a day before its first close pass by the outer edges of Saturn's main rings during its penultimate mission phase.

The view shows part of the giant, hexagon-shaped jet stream around the planet's north pole. Each side of the hexagon is about as wide as Earth. A circular storm lies at the center, at the pole (see PIA14944).

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 3, 2016, at a distance of about 240,000 miles (390,000 kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 14 miles (23 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: December 6, 2016 (PIA 21052)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
BlueInGreen (Dec 8, 2016 at 6:11 AM):
oops..I meant famous, not infamous
BlueInGreen (Dec 8, 2016 at 6:10 AM):
This is really amazing from a scale perspective; at 240K miles, the infamous image of the Earth from the Moon showed how one could cover up the Earth with their thumb. Cassini is at the same distance to Saturn, yet I could barely cover up Saturn with my upper torso ;). The size of Saturn is mind blowing. Great stuff guys.