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Coffee and Cream Clouds

Published by Matt on Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:11 pm via: NASA JPL
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Clouds in Saturn’s atmosphere create an intricate pattern reminiscent of whipped cream swirling in coffee.

Coffee and Cream Clouds. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Coffee and Cream Clouds. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

The view is centered on a region 15 degrees south of the planet’s equator. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 18, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 727 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 107 degrees. Image scale is 14 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

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