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. Strange Shape In Saturns Cloudtops

Cassini captured this strangely shaped cloud feature in Saturn's southern hemisphere. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) Apr 11, 2006
Cassini's latest close pass by the ringed planet shows a bright, somewhat distorted feature in Saturn's southern hemisphere.

Mission scientists at Jet Propulsion Laboratory think the feature might be a transient eddy that formed and then collided with an obstacle, such as a vortex, in a zone of wind shear between two opposing east-west flowing jets. It also could be simply a place where two jets are interacting.

The spacecraft captured the image in polarized green light with its narrow-angle camera on March 7, at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 17 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.

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Saturn A-Ring Full Of Debris
Boulder CO (SPX) Apr 07, 2006
New data on Saturn's ring system from the Cassini spacecraft indicate the planet's prominent A-ring contains more debris than once thought.

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