Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Saturn's north polar hexagon

Filed under Cassini, pretty pictures, atmospheres, Saturn

Go Back

Saturn's north polar hexagon This image of Saturn's north pole was taken by Cassini's VIMS spectrometer at a mid-infrared wavelength of 5 microns. It was winter at Saturn's north pole; all illumination is thermal radiation (heat) welling up from Saturn's depths. Some of the heat radiation is blocked by clouds floating in Saturn's atmosphere at about 75 kilometers below the cloud tops that can be seen in visible wavelengths. The pressure at that level is about three times Earth's atmospheric pressure. The patterns in the image are created by alternating cloudy and clear areas. The image has been contrast-reversed so that the glouds show up as bright spots, while open areas appear dark.

NASA / JPL / U. Arizona

Learn more about the image at Photojournal. There's also an animated version.

Original image data dated on or about October 29, 2006

 

Other Related Images

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!