In the news, the recent happenings regarding the planet, Saturn, have been catching the attention of scientists and the public alike. It seems that one of the oddest weather patterns known has been connected to Saturn through a series of photographs. Astronomers have caught sight of a rather large, six-sided feature that is circling the north pole. In this article, you will find further details, as well as additional facts regarding the planet.
This particular headline deals with a sight that strays from the normal features associated with planets that have atmospheres. Normally, a “sinuous cloud structure” is seen, but with Saturn, this is now not the case; the planet is showcasing a hexagon. While researchers clamor about the possibilities arising from such a feature, it is not the first time that something like this has been viewed. Actually, NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft came up with visual proof of the same instance that occurred more than 20 years ago. As the Cassini spacecraft took images of the sight, scientists now believe this is a feature that is going to last a long time.
The strangeness of the feature is intensified as the geometric vision of the occurrence present straight sides that are all nearly equal in distance. The sight hasn’t been seen on any other planet until now, and the fact that Saturn possesses a thick atmosphere causes scientists to scratch their heads further. It is on this planet where you will most likely see waves that resemble circular shapes and the presence of convective cells.
The measurements of the hexagon are estimated to stretch across 15,000 miles across. To get a sense of how large this measurement is, scientists claim that four Earths could fit inside. Down into the clouds, thermal imagery reveals that the hexagon continues about 60 miles.
Cassini has been capturing quite a few impressive scenes connected to Saturn. While making note of Saturn’s south pole, a rather strange “human eye-like feature” was spotted, which had some onlookers describing the view as “freaky.” Some believed that the feature was quite similar to a hurricane.
The recent finds on Saturn allowed researchers to come to conclusions regarding the south and north end of the planet. The differences on the opposite poles are quite distinguishable to researchers, who use infrared mapping to make assessments. Comparing the hurricane-like eye feature to the geometric formation, scientists are excited about the developments to come in the future.
Background Info on Saturn
Saturn is the sixth planet located from the Sun. The planet has quite a reputation as a gas giant, and holds the title for second largest planet in the solar system. Only Jupiter beats the planet in size. Saturn is often identified by its prominent assortment of rings, which are mostly comprised of ice particles with some dust and debris from rocks. Named after the Roman God, Saturn (or the Greek God Cronos, who was Zeus’ father), it is often represented by the sickle.
The planet, Saturn has cultural significance, holding places in Hindu astrology, Chinese and Japanese culture, as well as in Hebrew texts. For example, nine planets are attached to Hindu astrology, where Saturn is referred to as “Sani” or “Shani, ” which is seen as the “judge” amongst the rest of the planets. In Hindu astrology, it is the responsibility of their Saturn to view individuals by the kind of deeds they perform (good or bad).