Eddies and Whirls

Saturn's Northern Hemisphere

Storms of varying sizes churn in Saturn’s northern hemisphere in this true-color image taken by the Cassini orbiter on November 29, 2008. The reason for the blue color is still not known, but it seems to fade with the winter season coming to an end.

This photo was taken from a distance of 683,000 miles from the planet. The larger storms are hundreds of miles wide.

The wavy line at the upper left is part of a polar phenomenon known as the hexagonal pattern. This huge geometric formation wraps around the north polar atmosphere of Saturn and is not entirely understood.

The full-size image is here. For more information, visit the mission home page.

Image credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.