Saturn's Storm

So, I was looking through Yahoo today and I saw a couple stories about storms on Saturn. Space has always interested me so I'd like to share some of the news on EBW.


The storms that were viewed were on the North pole and the South pole on the planet. Cassini is the space craft that viewed this.

"These are truly massive cyclones, hundreds of times stronger than the most giant hurricanes on Earth," said Kevin Baines, Cassini scientist on the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Dozens of puffy, convectively formed cumulus clouds swirl around both poles, betraying the presence of giant thunderstorms lurking beneath. Thunderstorms are the likely engine for these giant weather systems."


Think about how powerful those storms are. HUNDREDS of times stronger than our most powerful hurricanes. Pretty impressive.

Cassini mapped the entire north pole of Saturn in detail in infrared, with features as small as 120 kilometers (75 miles) visible in the images. Time-lapse movies of the clouds circling the north pole show the whirlpool-like cyclone there is rotating at 325 mph (530 kph) — more than twice as fast as the highest winds measured in cyclones on Earth.


That means our F5 tornadoes and our level 5 hurricanes have NOTHING on these storms. What is even stranger is that the videos have shown that there is a hexagon, in the middle of the storm that doesn't seem to move despite the harsh climate.

Surrounding the cyclone is an odd, honeycomb-shaped hexagon, which itself does not seem to move while the clouds within it whip around at high speeds. Strangely, neither the fast-moving clouds inside the hexagon nor the cyclone seem to disrupt the six-sided feature.


I figured some people would find this interesting. Space always amazes me.

Uploaded 10/14/2008
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