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NASA Space

Cassini Gets Amazing Views of Saturn's Hexagon 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the cassini-is-the-best dept.
SternisheFan sends this excerpt from a JPL news release: "NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn's north pole. This is the first hexagon movie of its kind (GIF), using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. Spanning about 20,000 miles (30,000 kilometers) across, the hexagon is a wavy jet stream of 200-mile-per-hour winds (about 322 kilometers per hour) with a massive, rotating storm at the center. There is no weather feature exactly, consistently like this anywhere else in the 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,' said Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. 'A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades — and who knows — maybe centuries.'"
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Cassini Gets Amazing Views of Saturn's Hexagon

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  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:45PM (#45622161)
    Natural wonder at it's finest, that's what. We should consider ourselves lucky it's in our own backyard. Perhaps one day people will travel to Saturn just to vacation in orbit and take in the wonder of this phenomenon in similar fashion to visiting Earthly wonders such as Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon. If the phenomenon lasts long enough, and I live long enough, I would like to go. Can you imagine staring down at thing in all of it's immensity, from orbit? I can't.

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