Cassini’s New Image Shows Brightly Colored Clouds Surrounding Saturn

Posted: Aug 11 2016, 1:36pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 12 2016, 10:53pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 

Cassini’s New Image Shows Brightly Colored Clouds Surrounding Saturn
Credit: NASA
 

New image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals clouds in northern hemisphere of Saturn in stunning detail.

This image could be mistaken for an abstract painting - but it is just another image of a planet in our solar system.

The false-color image is taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and shows clouds surrounding the northern hemisphere of Saturn in stunning detail. False coloring reveals the fascinating swirls and streaks created over the planets by clouds.

Saturn is called a gas giant and there is a reason for it. The planet is mostly made up of gases like hydrogen and helium. Therefore, it lacks a solid surface and it’s difficult to pinpoint its interior and its upper atmosphere.

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

In the image, color filters have been used to highlight different shapes and pattern on Saturn’s clouds. It is a rendering method that makes it easier to distinguish differences among the types of particles floating in the atmosphere of an object. The filters which are sensitive to infrared light also help determine the structure and depth of clouds in the atmosphere.

Saturn contains three layers of clouds with each comprising of different molecules. The upper layer is made up of ammonia clouds. The lower layer consists of water clouds while clouds of ammonia hydrosulfide are resting between the two layers. The different layers are created due to the changing temperature and pressure on Saturn starting from the exterior of the planet and hitting its center. 

This particular image is created by stitching together images taken by Cassini's wide-angle camera on July 20, 2016.

Source: NASA Blog

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