Astronomy Picture of the Day

Saturn Storm by Ringshine

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#84865 by @ 24.02.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Saturn Storm by Ringshine


Imaged on
the night side
of Saturn by the
these swirling storm clouds are illuminated by ringshine - sunlight
reflected from the gas giant's
magnificent ring system.

The storm (top) was actually spotted last month by amateur
astronomers as it rotated
Saturn's day side
and spans about 3,500 kilometers.

When the storm was on the same side of Saturn as the Cassini spacecraft,
bursts of radio noise
were detected, suggesting lightning discharges
connected with the storm were responsible for the radio emission.

While no lightning is seen directly in this Cassini image, scientists
note that this storm appears along the planet's southern
hemisphere storm alley in approximately
the same location as
Saturn's Dragon Storm, reported
early last year.

Though the new storm is larger and seems to be more
powerful, it could well be the
Dragon Storm reemerging.

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