In the Center of Saturn’s North Polar Vortex: What’s happening at the north pole of Saturn? A vortex of strange and complex swirling clouds. The center of this vortex was imaged in unprecedented detail last week by the roboticCassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn. These clouds lie at the center of the unusual hexagonal cloud system that surrounds the north pole of Saturn. The sun rose on Saturn’s north pole just a few years ago, with Cassini taking only infrared images of the shadowed region previously. The above image is raw and unprocessed and is being prepared for release in 2013. Several similar images of the region have recently been condensed into a movie. Planetary scientists are sure to continue to study this most unusual cloud formation for quite some time.
After some research and seeing the work of Ansel Adams and Minor White, Mitch Dobrowner became inspired and addicted to photography. The Long Island New Yorker who now lives in California aspires to create images that show how he sees our planet. Featured here on EK are images from his ‘Storm’ series, which capture the great power of mother nature.
supercell over tropical island
Jupiter: At The Belt-Zone Boundary
Credit: The Galileo Project, JPL, NASA
Explanation: Jupiter’s thick atmosphere is striped by wind-driven cloud bands that remain fixed in latitude - dark colored bands are known as belts while light colored bands are zones. At Jupiter’s belt-zone boundaries the shearing wind velocities can reach nearly 300 miles per hour. Near infrared images recently returned by the Galileo Spacecraft were mapped to visible colors in this close-up of a belt-zone boundary near the gas giant’s equator. The color mapping reveals different layers, lower clouds are bluish, higher ones pinkish. The smallest features seen are tens of miles across.