Maelstrom on Saturn

Right!! Sit down and prepare yourself for these images?
Maelstrom on Saturn's North PoleIf you’re like me, I could only think of two words… HOLY COW!!

This swirling maelstrom of clouds is what was seen over Saturn’s North Pole on November 27, by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. This is a raw image from a distance of 238,045 miles (383,097 kilometres). The images show an approximately 3,000-4,000-km-wide cyclone above Saturn’s North Pole. Saturn is also known to have a long-lived hexagonal jet stream feature around its north pole as well shown below.

Saturn Hexagon Vortex

This one was captured with a wider angle, in this image the hexagon structure can be made out as well as the cyclone, which sits at the centre just over the pole. Saturn’s hexagon is about 25,000 km (15,500 miles) in diameter… large enough to fit almost four Earths inside.

One again… HOLY COW.

Maelstrom on Saturn's North Pole Coloured

Colour composites by Jason Major

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute ©2012

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11 thoughts on “Maelstrom on Saturn”

  1. Wow, wow, wow! It is impossible to imagine the immensity of these storms and yet we could be looking at a photo of a drop of milk falling into a puddle of tea. I guess it is all about fractals, the fibonacci sequence (maybe they are the same thing?) and the patterns repeated over and over in nature. Awesome in the true sense of the word.

    1. Isn’t it just epic, the shear scale is mindboggling, but your right that it could a ‘Storm-in-a-teacup’ … I’m a firm believer in the whole Fibonacci/Chaos theories.

      Thanks for the great reply 🙂

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