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This is an image of Saturn in falsecolor. The shadow of Saturn can be seen against the rings in the background.
Click on image for full size
NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

Saturn Clouds, overview

This image of Saturn makes use of false color to emphasize the cloud pattern. The clouds form in bands which move across the disk of Saturn. The banded pattern of clouds, or stripes, is similar to those found on all the giant planets, particularly in Jupiter's belts and zones. The similarity among all the giant planets, even Uranus, suggests that there must be a common mechanism for the creation of that pattern.

Cloud shapes of Saturn include eddy shapes, white ovals, and brown ovals, just like on Jupiter. A row of swirling eddies can be seen in the very middle of this image in white.

There are three clouddecks on Saturn, and each one is composed of different molecules. There is a clouddeck of ammonia clouds, a clouddeck of ammonia hydrosulfide clouds, and a clouddeck of water clouds (H2O). These clouds are found in the troposphere of Saturn.

Hazes of smog on Saturn are to be found at very high altitudes above the clouds of Saturn.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA