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Space Science

Spectacular New Views of Saturn's Polar Vortex 49

sighted writes "Today the robotic spacecraft Cassini returned some jaw-dropping images of the odd hexagon in the planet's north polar region. The hexagon has been seen before, but the change of season has more fully revealed the feature in visible light. Cassini also zoomed in on the churning vortex at the north pole itself. The south pole features a similar maelstrom."
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Spectacular New Views of Saturn's Polar Vortex

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  • I want stereoscopic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Immerman (2627577) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:43AM (#42114113)

    What an incredible image, I'd love to see it as a stereoscopic image to really capture the depth of the clouds. Shouldn't be too hard - at orbital speeds two images taken a few seconds apart should capture incredible depth while the storm is unlikely to have changed significantly.

  • Amazing pictures... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @03:28AM (#42114575)

    See research done by Ana Claudia Barbosa Aguiar and Peter Read at Oxford in 2010. They were able to recreate this phenomenon in the lab. It has to do with interaction the rotating atmosphere of Saturn with a jet stream near the pole. By adjusting the speed of revolution of the jet stream they were able to create pretty much any desired shape.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead