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Swirls on Saturn.

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Swirls on Saturn.
Swirls on Saturn: Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

To celebrate Cassini's arrival at Saturn, the imaging team is going to be releasing a new photograph every day detailing some different aspect of the planet and its moons until the spacecraft enters the system in July. The latest photograph was taken on May 10, and is of swirling bands of turbulent clouds in Saturn's atmosphere. It was taken when Cassini was only 27.2 million km (16.9 million miles) away from the planet.

Dramatic details are visible in the swirling turbulent bands of clouds in Saturn’s atmosphere. Particularly noteworthy is the disturbed equatorial region. The image was taken with the narrow angle camera in spectral region where methane strongly absorbs light on May 10, 2004 at a distance of 27.2 million kilometers (16.9 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 162 kilometers (101 miles) per pixel. Contrast in the image was enhanced to aid visibility.

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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org.

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