NASA spacecraft captures stunning views of monster hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole


Given terrestrial hurricanes are driven by a local accumulation of atmospheric heat, the physics underlying this event would be very interesting to understand.

Originally posted on National Post | News:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole.

The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 2,000 kilometres across. That’s 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. And it’s spinning super-fast. Clouds at the outer edge of the storm are whipping around at 530 kilometres per hour.

The hurricane is parked at Saturn’s North Pole and relies on water vapor to keep it churning. It’s believed to have been there for years. Cassini only recently had a chance to observe the vortex in visible light.

Scientists hope to learn more about Earth’s hurricanes by studying this whopper at Saturn.

Cassini was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004.

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