May 20, 2013

The Cassini spacecraft continues to send back simply extraordinary photographs of Saturn. The latest is an image of an enormous hurricane currently raging at Saturn’s north pole. The eye - just the eye - of this hurricane stretches 1,250 miles (2,000 km) across. That is the length of the entire West Coast of the United States - from the southern tip of California all the way up to the Canadian border.  

Scientists don’t know how long this hurricane has been in existence, because when Cassini arrived the north pole was covered in winter darkness (a year on Saturn lasts 29 Earth years). But now that it is light, we can see this huge storm which seems very similar to, though much bigger than what we call a hurricane here on Earth.

This photograph is false-color, by the way. That means that color has been added to the original image to help us see the details.



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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