Starting with periapsis on 17 February 2005, Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer began a campaign in which it imaged Saturn at 5 microns to utilise the heat continuously leaking from the deep interior to illuminate the cloud structures in silhouette. Previously the deep clouds had been sought by imaging in sunlight, but the view had been obscured by the upper level hazes and clouds. At 5 microns it was possible to map both the day and night sides, and there was a mass of structure.245 As team member K.H. Baines put it, ''Unlike the hazy broad global bands of clouds regularly observed in the upper atmosphere, many of the deeper clouds appear to be isolated, localised features.'' There was a large variety of sizes and shapes. They also behaved differently, and were made of ammonium hydrosulphide or water rather than ammonia. Observations of these clouds offered a means of both measuring the wind speeds at this deeper level and making a three-dimensional chart of the circulation. In keeping with the finding that wind speeds above the ammonia clouds decreased with increasing altitude, the winds at this 'low altitude' (estimated as 30 kilometres beneath the ammonia clouds) were some 275 kilometres per hour faster. The substantial wind shear at depth in the equatorial zone was a point of similarity with Jupiter. This mode of observation proved so fruitful that it was decided to make further such observations during subsequent periapsis passes.
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