Saturn and two of its most fascinating moons, Titan and Enceladus, are dressed and dazzling in a special package assembled by Cassini’s imaging team.
“During this, our 10th holiday season at Saturn, we hope that these images from Cassini remind everyone the world over of the significance of our discoveries in exploring such a remote and beautiful planetary system,” said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader, based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
The globe of Saturn, seen above in natural color, is reminiscent of a holiday ornament in one of the photos. The characteristic hexagonal shape of Saturn’s northern jet stream, somewhat yellow, is visible. At the pole lies a Saturnian version of a high-speed hurricane, eye and all.
“Until Cassini arrived at Saturn, we didn’t know about the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan, the active drama of Enceladus’ jets, and the intricate patterns at Saturn’s poles,” said Linda Spilker, the Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Spectacular images like these highlight that Cassini has given us the gift of knowledge, which we have been so excited to share with everyone.”
The photos making up the special package are available at this NASA press release.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The imaging team consists of scientists from the U.S., England, France and Germany.