A Breathtaking View of Saturn!
12 February 2014


Fig. 1
An infrared image of Saturn

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA recently published an exquisite image of Saturn (Fig. 1), acquired by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini probe was looking down on Saturn, from high above the plane of the planet’s magnificent rings. Interestingly, the image shows clearly the giant hexagonal jet stream, circling Saturn’s north pole.

Fig. 1 was obtained in infrared light, with Cassini’s wide-angle camera, on 23 November 2013, at a distance of approximately 2.5 million km from Saturn.

The Cassini program is one of the greatest and most successful scientific projects ever conducted. With a budget of over US$3bn, it is a cooperation among NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Cassini was launched on 15 October 1997, and reached Saturn, and entered orbit around it, on 4 July 2004. It has obtained thousands of images of the planet and its wonderful big family of moons, and conducted startling discoveries that revolutionized the understanding of the Saturn system.


Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist


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