Into The Vortex
Amazing new photos from NASA’s Cassini probe orbiting Saturn reveal a dizzying glimpse into a monster storm raging on the ringed planet’s north pole.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI
Cassini took the spectacular Saturn storm photos Tuesday and relayed it back to Earth the same day, mission scientists said in a statement. The pictures reveal a swirling storm reminiscent of the recent Hurricane Sandy that recently plagued our own planet.
Saturn’s mysterious northern vortex, a vast hexagon-shaped storm, dominates this photo taken Tuesday by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
The tempest is located in a strange hexagonal cloud vortex at Saturn’s north pole that was first discovered by the Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s, and sighted more closely by Cassini since then. The strange six-sided feature is thought to be formed by the path of a jet stream flowing through the planet’s atmosphere.
“Cassini’s recent excursion into inclined orbits has given mission scientists a vertigo-inducing view of Saturn ‘s polar regions, and what to our wondering eyes has just appeared: roiling storm clouds and a swirling vortex at the center of Saturn’s famed northern polar hexagon,” Cassini scientists wrote in an online update.
Source: Stunning NASA photos capture massive swirling Saturn vortex