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Saturn’s cloud cover with a shadow cast by the rings



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Saturn’s cloud cover with a shadow cast by the rings
Download this image: Hi-Res JPEG (0.48 MB) Hi-Res TIFF (2.99 MB)
This image shows part of Saturn’s northern hemisphere in false colour. This brings out the separate bands and swirls of clouds in the atmosphere of the high northern latitudes of the gas planet more clearly.

It also shows that with regard to their dynamics and to the chemical composition of Saturn’s upper atmosphere, the northern latitudes are markedly different from the rather more monotonous equatorial zone, which appears in bright, bluish tones in the lower right quadrant of the image. In the lower left quadrant you can see Saturn’s innermost rings as very thin lines; as the Sun is shining obliquely from beneath the ring plane, the shadows of the rings are projected onto Saturn’s cloud cover as clear-cut lines.

The image was recorded using Cassini’s Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) from an angle of 52 degrees above the ring plane and at a distance of 1.5 million kilometres.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
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