NASA has unveiled some new images that the Cassini spacecraft has taken of Saturn and one of the massive storms raging on the surface of the planet. The storm in question is very unique and has the shape of a hexagon. The six-sided storm is located on the north pole of Saturn.
The storm is called the Hexagon and has winds up to 200 mph. The storm is gigantic with the spin generated by the ferocious winds spanning 20,000 miles across. Scientists say that no weather feature like this can be found elsewhere in our solar system.
“The hexagon is just a current of air, and weather features out there that share similarities to this are notoriously turbulent and unstable,” Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., said in statement. “A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades — and who knows — maybe centuries.”
The scientists say that storms on Earth are interrupted by friction from land among other things. The storm on Saturn has raged for decades. The researchers believe the storm continues to rage because there is no solid land on the surface of the gas giant.
Scientists say that there are small vortices rotating in the opposite direction of the hexagon with the largest of those vortices spanning 2200 miles. That is about twice the size of the largest Earth hurricane ever recorded.
“As we approach Saturn’s summer solstice in 2017, lighting conditions over its north pole will improve, and we are excited to track the changes that occur both inside and outside the hexagon boundary,” Scott Edgington, Cassini deputy project scientist at NASA, said.