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The Rings and Moons of Saturn

Jet Spots in Tiger Stripes

NASA/JPL/GSFC/SwRI/SSI

Heat radiating from the entire length of 95-mile (150-km) long fractures is seen in this best-yet heat map of the active south polar region of Saturn's ice moon Enceladus. The data was collected on March 12, 2008.

Saturn's North Pole Hot Spot and Hexagon

NASA/JPL/GSFC/Oxford University

Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer discovered an unexpected "hot spot" at Saturn's north pole. Despite being in winter darkness for more than a decade, the hot, cyclonic vortex at upon Saturn's northernmost reaches appears very similar to that found on Saturn's much sunnier south pole, and it surprised scientists with its appearance.

The Persistent Hexagon

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn's north polar hexagon appears to be a long-lived feature of the atmosphere, having been spotted in images of Saturn in the early 1980s, again in the 1990s, and then by the Cassini spacecraft in the past several years. The persistent nature of the hexagon in imaging observations implies that it is present throughout Saturn's 29-year seasonal cycle. Two sides of the hexagon are seen here on Aug. 25, 2008

Profile of Janus

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This shadowy scene is one of the Cassini spacecraft's closest views of Saturn's moon Janus. The moon is 111 miles (179 km) across and was photographed by Cassini on June 30, 2008.

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Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.