It seems that there is something really bizarre placed over Saturn’s north pole. There’s a massive structure towering high above the clouds that shows that the planet’s hexagonal formation is much bigger than it was initially believed.
The information comes from Cassini which keeps revealing discoveries even a year after its demise plunging into Saturn’s thick atmosphere.
The probe started its observations back in 2004, and during the southern summer, it clocked a warm high-altitude vortex over the planet’s south pole.
Saturn’s north pole has a hexagon cloud
It’s also important to note that Saturn’s north pole includes a hexagonal cloud pattern but experts did not think it had a vortex until now.
The structure is symmetrical and is made by an atmospheric jet stream. It has winds blowing up to 500 kilometers per hour (300 miles per hour), and it’s massive. It measures 30,000 kilometres (20,000 miles) across. Earth has a diameter of 12,742 kilometers (7,917.5 miles) – two Earths could fit inside the hexagon, and you’ll still have room to spare.
There’s also a long-term study that found a similar vortex that’s forming over the north pole as the north pole approaches summer, high in the stratosphere. That vortex also has a hexagonal form.
“The edges of this newly-found vortex appear to be hexagonal, precisely matching a famous and bizarre hexagonal cloud pattern we see deeper down in Saturn’s atmosphere,” according to planetary scientist Leigh Fletcher of the University of Leicester in the UK.
He continued and said that “While we did expect to see a vortex of some kind at Saturn’s north pole as it grew warmer, its shape is really surprising.”
The fact that experts are discovering the stratospheric hexagon right at the end of Cassini’s lifespan is quite frustrating.
With the mission ending, it’s not sure whether scientists will be able to notice anything else. Anyway, the Cassini spacecraft continued to provide new details and discovering until the end, and without such a spaceship such mysteries would have remained unexplored.
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up ’til now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.