Space Pictures / Saturn (Original)

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Title: Saturn

Source: Voyager 1

Information: This image of Saturn, taken by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft on Oct. 18, 1980, was color-enhanced to increase the visibility of large, bright features in Saturn's North Temperate Belt. It is believed that these spots might closely resemble gigantic convective storms (similar to, but mush larger than thunderstorms in Earth's atmosphere) with upwelling from deep within Saturn's atmosphere. The nature of the dark spots like the one visible on the northern edge of the belt is not yet clearly understood, though they seem to resemble equally mysterious features seen on Jupiter. The largest violet-colored cloud belt (its true color is brownish) is Saturn's North Equatorial Belt. The distinct color difference between this and other belts and zones may be due to a thicker haze layer covering the northern portion of the belt. The Southern Hemisphere of the planet (below the rings) appears bluer than the Northern Hemisphere because of increased scattering of sunlight upon that area due to the spacecraft's point of view. Three separate images taken through ultraviolet, green and violet filters were used to construct this composite. The lower edge of the rings were "clipped" due to a slight drift of the spacecraft. Color spots in the rings are an artifact of image processing.