On its approach to Saturn orbit insertion, the narrow angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft snapped this image of a turbulent swirl in the high clouds of Saturn¿s atmosphere. The disturbance occurs in the southern edge of the equatorial band. The image was taken on May 21, 2004, from a distance of 22 million kilometers (13.7 million miles) from Saturn through a filter centered at 889 nanometers. The image scale is 131 kilometers (81 miles) per pixel. Contrast in the image was enhanced to aid visibility.
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 Office of Space Science, 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.