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Emily LakdawallaNovember 27, 2012

Staring into Saturn's baleful eye

EDIT: There is now an amazing animated version of this image sequence.

This is just wow. It's part of a long sequence Cassini took, staring at Saturn's north pole. When? Today.

Raw image of Saturn's north polar vortex

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Emily Lakdawalla

Raw image of Saturn's north polar vortex
This photo looking down onto Saturn's summer north pole was taken on 27 November 2012 from a distance of 361,000 kilometers through an infrared (CB2) filter. It has been filtered to reduce noise from cosmic ray hits and JPEG compression.

Go check out the rest of the sequence for yourself at the raw images website. Bill Dunford made an animation of some of them.

Zoom out, and you realize you're looking at just a tiny center of Saturn's famous north polar hexagon.

Saturn's north polar hexagon and rings (raw image)

Saturn's north polar hexagon and rings (raw image)
This view, looking down on Saturn's north pole, was taken on November 27, 2012. You can see the hexagon surrounding Saturn's north pole, as well as some of Saturn's rings beyond the limb.

Space exploration is awesome.


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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
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