Myriad dark vortices, some large and some small, twirl in the high southern latitudes of Saturn. At left, the south polar vortex spins at the center of it all.
This view looks toward the planet's southern hemisphere from about 47 degrees below the equator. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 23, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 939 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 468,000 kilometers (291,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 25 kilometers (15 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