This view of Saturn's southern polar region is dotted with flecks of bright cloud and several ominous dark spots. Remarkably fine details are visible.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on July 24, 2004, at a distance of 6.8 million kilometers (4.2 million miles) from Saturn, through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image scale is 40 kilometers (25 miles) per pixel. Contrast was slightly enhanced to bring out features in the atmosphere.
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 Cassini-Huygens 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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute