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Giant Saturn and its moon Tethys. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Click to enlarge
This Cassini photograph shows half of Saturn shrouded in shadow, with its moon Tethys hanging in the foreground. A gigantic storm that was first sighted in January 2006 continues to rage in Saturn’s southern hemisphere. This image was taken on February 18, 2006, when Cassini was 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Saturn.
The Cassini spacecraft looks toward giant Saturn and its moon Tethys, while a large and powerful storm rages in the planet’s southern hemisphere. The storm was observed by the Cassini spacecraft beginning in late Jan. 2006, and was at the time large and bright enough to be seen using modest-sized telescopes on Earth.
The fact that the storm stands out against the subtle banding of Saturn at visible wavelengths suggests that the storm’s cloud tops are relatively high in the atmosphere.
Tethys is 1,071 kilometers (665 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 18, 2006, at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 162 kilometers (101 miles) per pixel on Saturn.
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.
Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release