This dramatic close-up of Saturn's south pole shows the hurricane-like vortex that resides there. The entire polar region is dotted with bright clouds, including one that appears to be inside the central ring of the polar storm.
The storm was captured in a movie made from Cassini images in November 2006 (see Looking Saturn in the Eye).
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of polarized infrared light. The view was acquired on Jan. 14, 2007 at a distance of approximately 963,000 kilometers (598,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 54 kilometers (34 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