Cassini takes some pretty pictures (and tarts them up)

These two infrared images of Saturn show the entire south polar region with the hurricane-like vortex in the center. The top image shows the polar region in false color, with red, green, and blue depicting the appearance of the pole in three different near-infrared colors (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

From the Universe Today website. The Cassini mission has released some of the most detailed images of Saturn’s poles yet, revealing vast cyclones churning up the gas giant’s atmosphere in the north and south. These observations show very similar storms to the south pole observationsĀ imaged by the NASA spacecraft in 2006, only in far better detail. It is believed the north and south cyclones are generated by violent thunderstorms deep inside Saturn’s atmosphere; water condensing inside these storms output heat, fuelling the vortex extending 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres) in diameter. The smallest features resolved are 120 kilometre (75 mile)-wide cumulus clouds rotating at velocities in excess of 325 mph (530 kph), more than twice the wind speed possible onĀ Earth

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