The sheer beauty of the Universe can be forgotten during our daily lives, but let’s take a moment to appreciate its brilliance. The images below are the majestic swirls of hydrogen and helium of Saturn’s atmosphere at its North Pole.
The images were captured by NASA’s Cassini Solstice Mission at a distance of 238,045 miles away from Saturn. One of the images was color-corrected by Jason Major of UniverseToday.com, to give Saturn’s swirling clouds a more realistic look. The view is breathtaking.
Saturn is known to have a long-lived hexagonal jet stream feature around its North Pole area. The hexagonal structure makes up the swirling cloud vortex, and is about 15,500 miles wide. For some perspective, that is large enough to house almost four Earths inside.
NASA’s Cassini Solstice Mission is a satellite expedition of Saturn and its numerous moons, with a focus on Titan and Enceladus, and its rings. The mission is made up of 12 instruments that help to survey the Saturn system. It was first launched in 1997 with the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe. It was expanded in 2004 with a four-year mission to examine the entire Saturn system. It was completed in June 2008 and then later extended for a prolonged mission until 2017.
You can learn more about the Saturn system and NASA’s Cassini Solstice Mission on its official website. It’s also a fascinating look at the ringed planet and its many wonders.