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New Cassini Images Show Artistic Image of Saturn's North Pole

Nov 15, 2016 03:41 AM EST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration have released a new stunning image of the famous hexagonal shape in Saturn's North Polar Region.

The image, which was taken by the Cassini Spacecraft, provides an astonishing view toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 20 degrees above the ring plane.

In a press release, NASA described the beautiful bands and swirls in Saturn's North Pole as brushwork in a watercolor painting. The agency noted that each of latitudinal bands represents air flowing at different speeds and clouds at different heights. When these bands meet and flow past each other, many eddies and swirls will be produced by the interaction.

According to the report from the Daily Mail, the famous hexagonal shape, which dominates the northern region of Saturn, circumscribes the northern polar vortex. First observed by Voyager 1 and 2 more than 30 years ago, astronomers and researchers have been long baffled by the nearly 20,000 miles hurricane. The shape of the hurricane is being maintained by a band of upper-atmospheric winds. Within the center of the hexagon is believed to be a polar cyclone.

In the image taken by Cassini, Saturn's rings were barely visible in either side of the picture. The image scale s 53 miles (86 kilometers) per pixel. It was obtained the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 5, 2016 at a distance of approximately 890,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Saturn. In order to fully capture the splendor of the image, Cassini used a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers.

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The spacecraft was launched in 1997 and is being managed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Cassini is expected to have a grandeur final mission before it finally crash in the Saturn's surface in 2017.

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