NASA JPL Cassini
October 25, 2013
It’s a view as good as gold. A loop high above Saturn by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft revealed this stately view of the golden-hued planet and its main rings. The observation and resulting image mosaic were planned as one of three images for Cassini’s 2013 Scientist for a Day essay contest. The contest challenges students to study three possible targets and write about which one they think will yield the best science. Today is the last day for U.S. submissions and the Cassini mission has already started working on picking the best essays.
This natural-color view — seen as human eyes would have seen it – was obtained on Oct. 10, 2013. It shows off the differently colored bands of weather at Saturn. A bright, wavy stream of clouds around 42 degrees north latitude appears to mark some of the turbulent aftermath of a giant storm that reached its violent peak in early 2011. The mysterious six-sided weather pattern known as the hexagon is also visible around Saturn’s north pole. Full-sized image available here.