Moon under Saturn
Saturn's captivating cloud bands display a number of interesting features in this narrow angle camera image taken by the Cassini spacecraft on 20 May 2004. On close inspection, the sub-equatorial bands at around 20 degrees south latitude have a braided rope-like appearance. Also noteworthy are swirls and vortices around 60 degrees south latitude. The moon Mimas (398 kilometres across) is visible just below and to the right of Saturn's South Pole.
The image was taken when Cassini was 22 million kilometres from Saturn through a filter centred at 727 nanometres. The image scale is 131 kilometres per pixel. Contrast in the image was enhanced to aid visibility.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.