Astronomy Picture of the Day

Southern Saturn from Cassini

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#53447 by @ 19.10.2004 00:00 - nach oben -
Southern Saturn from Cassini

What happens to Saturn's pervasive clouds at its South Pole?

Visible in the above image of Saturn are bright bands,
dark belts
and a dark spot right over the
South Pole.

The above image in infrared light spans over 30,000 kilometers and was taken early last month by the robot
Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn.

Saturn's atmosphere
is about 75 percent
hydrogen, 25 percent
helium, and small amounts of heavier compounds including
water vapor, methane, and

The relatively low gravity at
Saturn's cloud tops result in a thicker
haze layer, which in turn makes
atmospheric features blurrier than

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