CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Saturn Storm Rev 142 Raw Preview

These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn were taken on Dec. 24, 2010. They show an enormous storm in the northern hemisphere of the planet, seen earlier by amateur astronomers and now seen clearly for the first time by Cassini.

Dec 27, 2010: Saturn 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #1 - This raw, unprocessed image of Saturn was taken on December 24, 2010 and received on Earth December 27, 2010.
Dec 27, 2010: Saturn 'Rev 142' Raw Preview #2 - This raw, unprocessed image of Saturn was taken on December 24, 2010 and received on Earth December 27, 2010.
Alliance Member Comments
brainiac9129 (Jan 9, 2011 at 3:37 PM):
I know this is an obvious thought, but it's amazing to imagine Kepler, Huygens and Galileo (not forgetting Cassini himself), just to name a few, watching images like these.
Now it's time to wait for the analysis :)
Many thanks to the team.
stowaway (Dec 28, 2010 at 9:15 PM):
I'm not an expert on these things so listen close cuz I'm going to give you the true scoop on this. Saturn has burped. I've heard that deep down inside Jupiter there is some stuff called "metallic hydrogen". Can you imagine what that would be like? Well, neither can I, so that's proof enough for me.
Rich777 (Dec 28, 2010 at 9:27 AM):
The impact on jupiter showed a more pronounced shape because the fragments of comet hit the upper layers of Jupiter's atmosphere. The 'cloud' of debris didn't resemble this picture because the winds of Jupiter didn't sweep the debris cloud as the winds of Saturn are sweeping this 'storm'. Could it be a belch from Saturn's innards rather than an actual storm?
drakie (Dec 28, 2010 at 7:46 AM):
It looks more like a volcanic eruption to me.
The cloud remains at the same spot at least it seems to be.
The equatorials wind does make a trail from these ashes like on the linked pic below of an earth volcanic eruption
dholmes (Dec 28, 2010 at 5:28 AM):
I disagree with the impact theory. Compare the Shoemaker-Levi 9 (21) fragments impact photos that hit Jupiter back in July of 94 then look at what is clearly a monster storm on Saturn. The shape of the impacts on Jupiter were more defined and rounded not like what we see here. Of course I defer to greater minds on this site than mine, but for now that's what I surmise.
georgfischer (Dec 28, 2010 at 3:17 AM):
I have to speak against those speculations of an impact. This storm started in early December, and the lightning bolts in it were clearly detected by the Cassini radio instrument RPWS. Several amateurs have imaged the storm which grew in size over the last 3 weeks as can be checked out at (click on images on the top and then on Saturn images on the left).
PiperPilot (Dec 28, 2010 at 0:29 AM):
I have to agree with the impact theory. I picture it as entering from the top and disintegrating at the bottom. The trail being perturbed by the atmosphere much as a vapor trail is here on earth. But then, preview #2, does have a slight appearance of what could be considered an eye similar to a hurricane. I have thrown out the failed missile launch theory! Goodness, I wish we knew everything, so we wouldn’t have to do all this supposing.
graurog (Dec 27, 2010 at 9:27 PM):
As an old, old old aviator that doesn't look like a storm pattern, which would be counter-clockwise and the energy would be going toward the center of the storm. This more resembles an impact with the debris being deposired toward the outside of the rotation i/e clockwise. I love it even I'm wrong. RonG
JimRinX (Dec 27, 2010 at 9:08 PM):
redmoon! Haven't you HEARD? The 'Monolith' has been moved to Mars' Moon Phobos!
If you look long enough, you'll find the doctored images - the ones where they've photoshoped it into what they want to see: a big white version of the 2001: A Space Odessey black monolithe.
No worries though: those geysers on Enceladus are powered by the (engines idling) starship that our Alien Pals buried there for us!
Didn't know that, did you? It's a "conspiracy", you see.....
stowaway (Dec 27, 2010 at 6:09 PM):
Open the Pod Bay doors Hal... that thing might be full of stars!
DuanePSnyder (Dec 27, 2010 at 5:29 PM):
Great point and shoot, that is not easy.
rcantor (Dec 27, 2010 at 5:04 PM):
Naaaa, it's a rocket launch - look how quickly it changes except at one spot :)
PiperPilot (Dec 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM):
Once had a photo of the Moon similar to this. It was a liquid spill on the negative. I doubt that is what this is though. LOL :) Very unique shot. Love all the pics that keep coming back.
poihths (Dec 27, 2010 at 3:32 PM):
This does phenomenon doesn't resemble the SL9 impact on Jupiter at all. The shapes and sizes are completely different.
graupma (Dec 27, 2010 at 2:55 PM):
Don't think it's a storm. This item is on the outer later of the atmosphere.
Probably an asteroid, comet, etc. check it out. doesn't even look like a storm.
portercc (Dec 27, 2010 at 2:39 PM):
What timing! I never dreamed we would get so much information! This has been quite an adventure!
UweZ (Dec 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM):
Nice Catch !
dday76 (Dec 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM):
Any initial estimates on size of the funnel and the overall size with the tail
redmoon (Dec 27, 2010 at 11:43 AM):
A faszinating view... When was this storm seen by amateur astronomers?