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Saturn's Polar Vortex Clouds Captured By Cassini Spacecraft (PICTURES)

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SATURN
NASA / JPL / SSI

Off all the space telescopes and craft currently in our Solar System, arguably the most amazing images of all have come via Cassini.

The Nasa, European and Italian Space Agency spacecraft is currently in orbit around Saturn, and that planet's vivid colours, dramatic rings and staggeringly beautiful moons have resulted in several incredible shots in recent years.

Now the craft has sent back these amazing images of the swirling 'polar nexus' at its North Pole.

The storm, which is actually the centre of an even stranger hexagonal cloud pattern, is enormous - the images were taken at roughly the same distance as the Earth to the Moon (about 360,000 km).

The images were taken on Tuesday, and are a spectacular new look at one of Saturn's strangest features.

Cassini-Huygens was launched in 1997 and reached the planet in 2004 after a voyage which included 'stops' nearby Venus and Jupiter.

The mission is currently scheduled to last until at least 2017 - though it has already been extended several times.

When 2017 comes around Cassini will fall into Saturn's atmosphere, and in the same year the space craft Juno will also crash onto Jupiter. That will leave Earth with no craft exploring the outer planets of our Solar System - and no more are planned to be launched.

So enjoy these images while they last - new ones won't be arriving indefinitely.

Also on The Huffington Post

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