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Cool image time! And this is only the start. The Cassini science team has released the first images taken by Cassini during its first of 42 close flybys of the rings of Saturn. The image on the right, cropped from the full image, shows Saturn’s north polar vortex. The storm at the polar really does look like a whirlpool that is descending down into the gas giant’s depth.
I must emphasize that photography was not the focus of this first flyby. These images were taken the two days before the flyby on December 4. Later flybys are going to produce far better images, as they will be taking pictures throughout.