Space Image of the Day Gallery (December 2016)

Sunshine on Saturn's North Pole

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Thursday, December 29, 2016: NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this view of Saturn's north pole basking in the sunlight in Sept. 9, 2016. Darker regions, like the inside of Saturn's six-sided jet stream and latitudinal lines, have lower cloud coverage. Scientists can use this view of Saturn to study the planet's atmosphere and weather patterns. — Hanneke Weitering

The Tropopause

ESA / Thomas Pesquet

Friday, Dec. 30, 2016: French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who is currently aboard the International Space Station, captured some clouds peeking out from the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. "The tropopause usually limits the vertical extension of clouds ... except for the most massive and daring ones," Pesquet tweeted. — Hanneke Weitering

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