This Cassini image shows mesmerizing detail in the swirls and ribbons of air in Saturn's atmosphere. The view was obtained at a distance of 8.5 million kilometers (5.3 million miles) from Saturn and is but a taste of what the spacecraft's powerful cameras will show when Cassini draws nearer to the planet. The limb of the planet is visible at lower right.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Sept. 15, 2004, through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light. The image scale is 101 kilometers (63 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified by a factor of two and slightly contrast enhanced to improve visibility of features in the atmosphere.
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 Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute