Twice as far from the Sun as Jupiter, Saturn's colder temperatures mean that clouds form lower in its atmosphere. As a result, the visible cloud patterns - so striking on Jupiter - occur deeper inside Saturn, reducing their visibility in natural color views.
This enhanced-color view uses exaggerated contrast and intensity in order to make Saturn's cloud bands easy to see. The latitude seen at the image center is approximately 60 degrees south of the equator.
Images taken in blue (BL2), green and red (CB1) polarized spectral filters were combined to create this enhanced-color view. The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 7, 2005, at a distance of approximately 3.1 million kilometers (1.9 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 36 kilometers (22 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute