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    Thread: Saturn's storm

    1. #1
      kite's Avatar
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      Gigantic Polar Storm Spotted on Saturn

      Friday , November 10, 2006

      By Robert Roy Britt




      A freaky storm two-thirds the diameter of Earth and unlike anything ever seen has been spotted on Saturn.

      The tempest, some 5,000 miles wide (8,000 kilometers), has an oddly human-looking hurricane-like eye. But it is very different from a terrestrial hurricane, scientists said Thursday.

      NASA's Cassini spacecraft photographed the huge storm. It swirls with 350-mph winds at the ringed planet's south pole.

      Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Space Center.

      It has a remarkably well-defined eye ringed by clouds that soar 20 to 45 miles high (30 to 75 kilometers), or up to five times taller than hurricane clouds on Earth.

      "It looks like a hurricane, but it doesn't behave like a hurricane," said Andrew Ingersoll, a member of Cassini's imaging team at the California Institute of Technology. "Whatever it is, we're going to focus on the eye of this storm and find out why it's there."

      The storm's eye is clear of clouds, as with a hurricane on Earth. And the eye-wall clouds are also similar to those that surround the eye of a storm here. Researchers don't know if rising, moist air is fueling the clouds, as in a normal hurricane. But the storm's eye, eye-wall and spiral arms are all "hurricane-like," they say.

      Yet this storm rotates around Saturn's south pole astronomers say the pole seems to be within the storm's eye and the system seems locked in place.

      Other gas-planet storms, like the Red Spot on Jupiter and many smaller storms on both Saturn and Jupiter, do not have eyes.

      This newfound storm's eye offers a window into Saturn.

      "The clear skies over the eye appear to extend down to a level about twice as deep as the usual cloud level observed on Saturn," said Kevin Baines of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "This gives us the deepest view yet into Saturn over a wide range of wavelengths, and reveals a mysterious set of dark clouds at the bottom of the eye."

      Previous observations have shown that Saturn's south pole is warmer, by about 4 degrees Fahrenheit, than other parts of the planet.

      "The winds decrease with height, and the atmosphere is sinking, compressing and heating over the south pole," said Richard Achterberg, a member of Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer team at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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    2. #2
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm


    3. #3
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm

      That's incredible. Some of the stuff that exist's out there blows my mind.



      Disclaimer: Any information that TestRip7 shares is strictly for entertainment and role playing purposes only. TestRip7 is a fictional character and in no way condones the use of any illegal substances or activities otherwise.

    4. #4
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm

      interesting

    5. #5
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm

      Cool.

    6. #6
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm

      Cool stuff!!! I knew I should of became an astronomer or astrophysicist!
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    7. #7
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm

      It's really cool stuff. My wife bought me a nice telescope and it's so exciting to be able to clearly spot planets from your back yard. Space is one crazy place!

    8. #8
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      Default Re: Saturn's storm

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      cool stuff

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