Saturn's clouds was taken by the Voyager 1 robot spacecraft as it passed the giant planet in November 1980. Saturn's clouds are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium gas, but the small addition of other elements gives the clouds their colors. These colors have been computer enhanced in the above photograph. Usually the clouds are divided into just bands and belt, but the center of this photograph shows the addition of a red oval cloud. The oval's origin remains a mystery, although its color indicates that its composition is slightly different than surrounding clouds. A new spacecraft - Cassini - will visit Saturn and is currently scheduled for launch in 1997.
Scale of the Universe Debate in April 1996
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Saturn
Publications with words: Saturn