Thursday, December 5, 2013

NASA releases Saturn 'hexagon' images like never seen before

Spanning 20,000 miles and whipping up winds of 200 miles per hour, this massive six-sided storm clustered around the planet's north pole is a sight to behold.

Image

This is NASA's Cassini mission's highest-resolution view of a six-sided storm clustered around Saturn's north pole.

A bizarre, funnel-shaped cloud formation churning around Saturn's north pole was first noticed in the 1980s in Voyager flybys. Eventually, this mass became known as "the hexagon."

Any images of this cloudy mass have been muted and blurry at best -- until now. NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured new images of the hexagon that show it off in all of its unearthly glory.

The hexagon is a unique six-sided jet stream with a roiling rotating storm at its center. It spans roughly 20,000 miles and whips up 200 mph winds. According to NASA, no other weather feature like this has been detected in our solar system.

"The hexagon is just a current of air, and weather features out there that share similarities to this are notoriously turbulent and unstable," Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology Andrew Ingersoll said in a statement. "A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades -- and who knows -- maybe centuries."

For the rest of the story: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57614593-76/nasa-releases-saturn-hexagon-images-like-never-seen-before/

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...