January 25, 2007
The Cassini spacecraft's current high-inclination orbit allows for some fantastic perspectives, like this shot of Saturn's south pole, which looks toward the rings beyond.
The dark bullseye at the pole marks the eye of a great hurricane-like storm investigated by Cassini in 2006. (See Looking Saturn in the Eye.)
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The view was acquired on Dec. 13, 2006 at a distance of approximately 790,000 kilometers (491,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 44 kilometers (27 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