What's happening at the north pole of Saturn?
of strange and complex swirling clouds.
The center of this vortex was
imaged in unprecedented detail last week by the robotic
Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn.
These clouds lie at the center of the unusual
hexagonal cloud system that surrounds the north pole of Saturn.
Saturn's north pole precessed into sunlight just a few years ago, with Cassini taking only
infrared images of the shadowed region previously.
The above image is raw and
and is being prepared for release in 2013.
similar images of the region have recently been condensed into a
Planetary scientists are sure to continue to study this most
unusual cloud formation for quite some time.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute