The Atmosphere of Saturn

Composed primarily of hydrogen and helium the upper atmosphere of Saturn exhibits banding similar to that of Jupiter. Unlike Jupiter, however, the individual bands and clouds have little color variations.

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NASA Press Release #P22993


Seen by the approaching Voyager 1 spacecraft, Saturn is almost a uniform beige color.


By using computer techniques to enhance minor differences in color, banding in the clouds can be studied. The color variations seen here are due to traces of elements in the atmosphere.

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NASA Press Release #P22994

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NASA Press Release #P23062

Small scale cloud structures are visible in this color enhanced image of the northern hemisphere of Saturn. This image was taken at a distance of 9 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) a few days before the Voyager 1 spacecraft's closest approach.


Saturn Storm

Saturn Storm - STSCI
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Photo Release #STScI-PRC94-53

A rare storm appears as a white arrow-shaped feature near Saturn's equator in this Hubble Space Telescope image taken December 1, 1994. The storm formed in much the same way that storms form on Earth. This new image shows little change in the storm's motion or size since its discovery in September of 1994.

Image from Space Telescope Science Institute

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