Atmospheric Detail in Infrared
Cassini captured intriguing cloud structures on Saturn as it neared its rendezvous with the gas giant. Notable is the irregularity in the eastern edge of the dark southern polar collar. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on 21 May 2004, from a distance of 22 million kilometres from Saturn through a filter sensitive to absorption and scattering of sunlight in the near infrared by methane gas (centred at 727 nanometres). The image scale is 131 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.