The Big Storm on Saturn

saturn_storm_IR_visA couple of years ago, a huge storm occurred in the northern hemisphere of Saturn. This set of images from the Cassini spacecraft orbiting the planet shows the turbulent power of that monster storm. The visible-light image was taken on 25 February, 2011, and shows the turbulent clouds churning across the upper layers of Saturn’s atmosphere. The inset infrared image, obtained a day earlier using Cassini‘s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, shows water and ammonia ices from deep in Saturn’s atmosphere being churned up to the top layers. This was the first time water ice was detected in Saturn’s atmosphere. The storm was first detected by Cassini‘s radio and plasma wave subsystem in December, 2010, and eventually wrapped around the planet.

Image Credit: NASA