This image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals the wind patterns within a large vortex that was spawned by a giant northern storm on Saturn. The arrows indicate the local direction of the winds. The vortex, a clockwise-spinning swirl, was spun off from the head of this storm in early December 2010, shortly after the storm erupted. The bright head of the storm moved swiftly in a westward direction around the planet, while this vortex drifted more slowly.
These data were obtained on Jan. 11, 2011.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 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-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University