This three-frame animation from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the swirling clouds in a vortex spawned by a great northern storm on Saturn. The clouds are moving in a clockwise direction.
These images were obtained by Cassini's imaging camera on Jan. 11, 2011. A map of the wind patterns can be seen at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia16722.html.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University