Taken by NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft, this image shows Saturn and Mimas using a spectral filter centered at 752 nanometers, in the near-infrared portion of the spectrum.
From a distance Saturn seems to exude an aura of serenity and peace.
In spite of this appearance, Saturn is an active and dynamic world. Its atmosphere is a fast-moving and turbulent place with wind speeds in excess of 1,100 miles per hour (1,800 km per hour) in places. The lack of a solid surface to create drag means that there are fewer features to slow down the wind than on a planet like Earth.
Mimas, to the upper-right of Saturn, has been brightened by a factor of 2 for visibility.
In this view, Cassini was at a subspacecraft latitude of 19 degrees North. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on February 4, 2015 using a spectral filter centered at 752 nanometers, in the near-infrared portion of the spectrum.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 96 miles (150 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (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. 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, Colorado.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute