Cassini's keen vision, with its variety of spectral filters, allows for revealing views of the eastward- and westward-flowing cloud bands that encircle the ringed giant, Saturn. This image was acquired using a spectral filter sensitive to infrared wavelengths where methane in the atmosphere is moderately absorbing. Saturn's bright equatorial band is the most prominent feature on the planet in this view.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 15, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 74 degrees. The image scale is 136 kilometers (84 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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute