Bands and Swirls in Infrared
Saturn's bright equatorial band displays an exquisite swirl near the planet's eastern limb. This image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft's narrow angle camera on 18 May 2004 from a distance of 23.4 million kilometres from Saturn. The camera used a filter sensitive to absorption and scattering of sunlight by methane gas in the infrared (centered at 889 nanometres). The image scale is 139 kilometres per pixel. No contrast enhancement has been performed on this image.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.