National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Swirling Storms on Saturn
Swirling Storms on Saturn
28 Nov 2012
(Source: NASA/JPL/SSI)

Peering into the Storm
This image from NASA's Cassini mission was taken on Nov. 27, 2012, with Cassini's narrow-angle camera. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Saturn's North Pole, Wide View
The camera was pointing toward Saturn from approximately 233,742 miles (376,171 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been traveling the Saturnian system in a set of inclined, or tilted, orbits that give mission scientists a vertigo-inducing view of Saturn's polar regions. This perspective has yielded images of roiling storm clouds and a swirling vortex at the center of Saturn's famed north polar hexagon.

These phenomena mimic what Cassini found at Saturn's south pole a number of years ago. Cassini has also seen storms circling Saturn's north pole in the past, but only in infrared wavelengths because the north pole was in darkness. (See http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2008-192.) But, with the change of the Saturnian seasons, the sun has begun to creep over the planet's north pole.

This particular set of raw, unprocessed images was taken on Nov. 27, 2012, from a distance of about 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) from Saturn.

More raw images are available at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/index.cfm. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 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 in Boulder, Colo.

Vortex at Saturn's North Pole
The camera was pointing toward Saturn from approximately 248,578 miles (400,048 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Jia-Rui Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
jccook@jpl.nasa.gov

Steve Mullins 720-974-5859
Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
media@ciclops.org

2012-375

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 28 Nov 2012