Cassini images of Saturn's dynamic atmosphere, like this detailed view, will be combined with data from the spacecraft's two infrared-sensing instruments (the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer and the Composite Infrared Spectrometer) to measure correlations among cloud features at many altitudes and infer heat flow across the planet.
The numerous small, white blobs generally indicate disturbed and turbulent regions.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 22, 2006 at a distance of approximately 331,000 kilometers (206,000 miles) from Saturn. The image was obtained using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. Image scale is 16 kilometers (10 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