In this series of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, a dark, rectangular hot spot (top) interacts with a line of vortices that approaches from on the upper-right side (second panel). The interaction distorts the shape of the hot spot (third panel), leaving it diminished (bottom). The black scale bar is about 6,200 miles (10,000 kilometers) wide, or about twice as wide as the United States.
From top to bottom, these images were taken on Nov. 21, Nov. 24, Nov. 27 and Dec. 3, 2000 by Cassini's imaging science subsystem.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The 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/GSFC