Saturn's atmosphere produces beautiful and sometimes perplexing features. Is the bright feature below center a rare crossing of a feature from a zone to a belt, or is it an illusion created by different cloud layers at different levels? The answer is not always easy to determine.
The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 12, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 145 degrees. Image scale is 17 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.
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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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.