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Photos: Monster Storm Rages on Saturn

A Storm Crown for Saturn

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

These false-color mosaics from NASA's Cassini spacecraft chronicle the changing appearance of the huge storm that developed from a small spot in Saturn's northern hemisphere. Here Cassini captures the changes over the short time span of one Saturn day.

Taken about 11 hours apart, these mosaics consist of 84 images each. The top mosaic was taken earlier than the bottom mosaic. Both mosaics were captured on Feb. 26, 2011, and each of the two batches of images was taken over about 4.5 hours.

This storm is the largest and longest-lasting observed on Saturn by either NASA's Voyager or Cassini spacecraft. The storm's active phase ended in June 2011, but, as of October 2011, the turbulent clouds have continued to linger in the atmosphere.

Saturn's Rainbow Storm

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

With kaleidoscopic forms and hues, these two false color views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the patterns that come and go in the course of one Saturn day within the huge storm in the planet's northern hemisphere.

Taken about 11 hours -- or one Saturn day -- apart, these mosaics consist of 60 images each. The top mosaic was taken on Aug. 17, 2011, while the bottom mosaic was captured on Aug. 18, 2011. Each of the two batches of images was taken over the course of about 3 hours.

Saturn's Future Monster: Stormy Close-Up

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

This close-up image is a zoomed in and cropped view of the Cassini spacecraft's first view of a storm in Saturn's northern hemisphere that would ultimately grow to be the planet's largest in decades. The storm was first spotted in this image on Dec. 10, 2010.

Saturn Storm Churns

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

These two false color views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show detailed patterns that change during one Saturn day within the huge storm in the planet's northern hemisphere.

Taken about 11 hours -- or one Saturn day -- apart, these mosaics consist of 48 images each. The top mosaic was taken earlier than the bottom mosaic. Both mosaics were captured on Aug. 7, 2011, and each of the two batches of images was taken over about 2.5 hours.

Saturn's Storm Giant: True-Color

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The biggest, most long-lasting Saturnian storm seen by either NASA's Cassini or Voyager spacecraft roils the atmosphere of the gas giant in this nearly-true-color mosaic of Cassini images. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 6, 2011 over about 11 hours (about a Saturnian day) at a distance of approximately 2 million miles (3.3 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 83 degrees

Cassini View of Giant Saturn Storm

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

These red, orange and green clouds (false color) in Saturn's northern hemisphere indicate the tail end of a massive storm that started in December 2010. Even after visible signs of the storm started to fade, infrared measurements continued to reveal powerful effects at work in Saturn's stratosphere.

Saturn Storm Vortex

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University

A vortex that was part of a giant storm on Saturn slowly dissipates over time in this set of false color images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This clockwise vortex spun off the bright head of the storm shortly after the thunder-and-lightning storm erupted in early December 2010. Image released Jan. 31, 2013.

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