Saturn’s Great Hurricane


“The Rose” in False-Color Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

We haven’t really had the opportunity to see Saturn’s north pole, at least with any great clarity, since the last time we got close which was in 1981 when Voyager 2 was making it’s way past our solar system’s second largest planet. Thankfully, Cassini on Nov. 27, 2012 has offered up an updated and much more detailed view of the northern pole of Saturn and what they found was spectacular.

A massive vortex was discovered that spans 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with clouds whizzing around at 330 miles per hour. It’s like a massive hurricane, one that’s many times as large and powerful as any hurricane on Earth. What’s also interesting about “the Rose” is that we are not sure how long it has actually existed. We will have to keep an eye on this storm and see how things progress throughout the year.

For more details about Cassini and associated projects along with more amazing photos, you can head the NASA’s Cassini page.


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