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The Rings and Moons of Saturn

Jet Spots in Tiger Stripes


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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