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04/30/2013

How about that weather on Saturn, eh?

The next time you want to complain about some downpour or blizzard in Toronto, consider these massive, beautiful storms happening at the north pole of Saturn. These amazing images were captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

 

Saturn

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/AP Photo

This false-colour image shows stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn's North Pole. The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 1,250 miles across. That's 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. The hurricane is believed to have been there for years. This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn's north pole captured by Cassini's imaging cameras.

 

Saturn2

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/AFP/Getty Images

This is a natural colour view of the north pole of Saturn, in the fresh light of spring. The north pole was previously hidden from the gaze of Cassini's imaging cameras because it was winter in the northern hemisphere when the spacecraft arrived at the Saturn system in 2004. A hurricane-like storm circling Saturn's north pole at about 89 degrees north latitude is inside the famous "hexagon" feature, which scientists think is a wandering jet stream that whips around the north pole at about 98 metres per second. It folds into a six-sided shape because the hexagon is a stationary wave that guides the path of the gas in the jet. Saturn's rings can be seen at the upper right of the image.

 

Saturn3

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/AFP/Getty Images


This false-colour image highlights the storms at Saturn's north pole. The angry eye of a hurricane-like storm appears dark red while the fast-moving hexagonal jet stream framing it is a yellowish green. Low-lying clouds circling inside the hexagonal feature appear as muted orange color. A second, smaller vortex pops out in teal at the lower right of the image. The rings of Saturn appear in vivid blue at the top right.

 

@canice

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