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An oval-shaped feature, wider than Earth and with streamers extending out to the east and west, swirls in Saturn’s southern hemisphere. Like the rainbands of a Southern Hemisphere hurricane on Earth, the streamers spiral into the feature in a clockwise direction. Unlike Earth’s hurricanes, this storm probably contains no liquid water.
The planet’s equatorial rings cut across the top of the image.
The image was taken in wavelengths of polarized infrared light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 30, 2005, at a distance of approximately 324,000 kilometers (202,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 32 kilometers (20 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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute