PIA00027: Saturn -- Ribbon-like Wave Structure in Atmosphere

Saturn – Ribbon-like Wave Structure in Atmosphere


A view of Saturn's clouds extending from 40` to 60` N latitude shows a ribbon-like wave structure in the south with small convective features marking a westward jet in the north. This image was obtained on November 10, 1980 when Voyager 1 was at a distance of 3,500,000 kilometers (2,200,000 miles) from Saturn. The smallest resolved features in this photograph are 65 kilometers (40 miles) in diameter. Images with similar resolution indicate that Saturn's circulation is somewhat different from Jupiter's. The maximum westward velocities seen on Saturn are located in the middle of the darker regions, while on Jupiter they are located at the poleward interface between belts and zones.

[Caption update June 25, 2012]
This wavy jetstream is strong and persistent. As of 2012, it no longer resembles a ribbon but it still flows eastward at 42 degrees north latitude (see PIA14916 and PIA14917 ). Scientists using data from the Cassini spacecraft observed for the first time how eddies, or rotating storms, accelerate this and other jets at two different altitudes on Saturn.

Background Info:

The Voyager Project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Jupiter
System Saturn Jupiter
Target Type Planet
Mission Voyager Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Voyager 1 Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Flyby Spacecraft Orbiter
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Color, Storm
Acquisition Date
Release Date 1999-08-30
Date in Caption 1980-11-10 2012-06-25
Image Credit NASA/JPL
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00027
Identifier PIA00027