A Capital Storm
May 30, 2008
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, or 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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute