Cassini peeks at Saturn's relatively dark south pole, providing an up-close look at the haze-free upper atmosphere there.
The banded structure around the pole seems to be superimposed on the characteristic high-latitude, mottled, turbulent structure (the white puffs of cloud near the pole), suggesting that the banding is a shallow, not deep, feature.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 23, 2005, through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of polarized infrared light at a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 14 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel.
|Instrument Host||Cassini Orbiter|
|Instrument||Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)|
|Detector||Narrow Angle Camera|
|Extra Keywords||Atmosphere, Grayscale, Haze, Infrared|
|Date in Caption||2005-04-23|
|Image Credit||NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute|