A Mysterious Hexagonal Cloud System on Saturn

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#99407 by @ 04.04.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
A Mysterious Hexagonal Cloud System on Saturn


Explanation:
Why would clouds form a hexagon on Saturn?

Nobody is yet sure.

Originally discovered during the
Voyager flybys of
Saturn in the 1980s, nobody has ever seen anything like it anywhere else in the
Solar System.

If Saturn's South Pole wasn't strange enough with its
rotating vortex,
Saturn's North Pole might now be considered even stranger.

The bizarre cloud pattern is
shown above
in a recent infrared image taken by the
Saturn-orbiting
Cassini spacecraft.

The images show the stability of the
hexagon
even 20 years after Voyager.

Movies
of Saturn's North Pole show the cloud structure maintaining its
hexagonal structure while rotating.

Unlike individual clouds appearing like a
hexagon on Earth,
the Saturn
cloud pattern appears to have six well defined sides of nearly equal length.

Four
Earths could fit inside the
hexagon.

Although full
explanations are not yet available, planetary scientists are sure to continue to study this
most unusual cloud formation
for quite some time.




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