Close-up of Saturn showing turbulent interactions on the surface

Photojournal: PIA06596

March 2, 2005

This close-up view of Saturn's turbulent atmosphere shows what may be two vortices interacting. Some of the bright clouds in the scene appear to be casting dark shadows, suggesting they are at higher altitude than their surroundings.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Jan. 23, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 727 nanometers. The image scale is 16 kilometers (10 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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit . For additional images visit the Cassini imaging team homepage .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute