Apr 29, 2013: The Red Rose Of Saturn - The arrival of spring in Saturn's northern hemisphere, and the steady march toward summer, has peeled back the darkness of winter and given Cassini a direct view of one of Saturn's most impressive phenomena: a giant, swirling, hurricane-like vortex at its northern pole. (Image advisory can be found here.)
Apr 25, 2013: NASA Probe Observes Meteors Colliding With Saturn's Rings - Details of the meteoroid impact process that creates bright diagonal streaks in Saturn's rings, such as the size of the impactors, the rate of impacts into the rings, and more, are presented in a paper published today in the journal Science by Cassini scientists. (Press release can be found here.)
March 13, 2002
You have arrived at the web site of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS), the hub of the Cassini Imaging Science Team. Welcome.
It has been a year since the conclusion of Cassini's flyby of Jupiter. The imaging scientists have been busy since then preparing for rendezvous with Saturn, and examining the results of the Jupiter encounter. At present, Cassini is roughly midway between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, rushing to meet its appointment with the ringed planet on July 1, 2004.
Today, after a long hiatus, the Cassini Imaging Team is pleased to release a movie composed of images taken of Jupiter in the ultraviolet and showing startling and unexpected activity high in the jovian stratosphere (Imaging Diary: Jupiter). We were fortunate to capture the birth and development of a dark spinning vortex in the north jovian auroral region resembling the development of stratospheric ozone holes on Earth. These disturbances appear to arise solely within the confines of the circumpolar high-altitude region of both planets. The similarity begs the question: Is there a lesson for us Earthlings, keen to understand our own atmosphere and the protection it affords us, in the study of the atmospheres of the giant planets?
We will have this question in mind as we attempt to understand the origin of this new phenomenon observed for the first time by Cassini's Imaging Science experiment.
Carolyn Porco Cassini Imaging Team Leader CICLOPS/Space Science Institute Boulder, CO