Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 3, 2013

Northern Clouds on Saturn
Northern Clouds on Saturn

Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Sinuous and swirling Clouds (which appear to be extremely dense) and Hurricane-sized Vortices, mingle in Saturn's Northern Skies (in fact, this view looks toward a Region of Saturn that is located at about 70° North Latitude). Despite the level of detail that is visible here, the Region shown in today's APOD is wide enough to contain the planet Mars comfortably.

The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's CB1 Spectral Filter, which is sensitive to Wavelengths of Visible Red Light centered at 619 nanometers. The view was acquired with the Spacecraft's Narrow-Angle Camera on May 23, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1,2 Million KiloMeters (such as about 745.200 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is roughly 7 Km (about 4,3 miles) per pixel.

This frame (which is a NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft Original b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the serial n. PIA 10413) has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-IPF), in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Upper Atmosphere of Satun), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among others, the existence of different Elements in the Upper Atmosphere of Satun, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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