Image of the Day: The New “Down Under” -South Pole of Saturn


The robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn imaged the nether region of the gigantic ringed orb in infrared light to discover what clouds lurk beneath the South Pole. There thick clouds appear dark as they mask much of the infrared light emitted from warmer regions below, while relatively thin clouds appear much lighter. Bands of clouds circle Saturn at several latitudes, while dark ovals indicate many dark swirling storm systems. A haze of upper level clouds visible towards Saturn's equator disappears near the pole, including over Saturn's strange polar vortex. 

Credit: Cassini VIMS Team, JPL, ESA, NASA


"The Galaxy" in Your Inbox, Free, Daily