NASA's Cassini Craft Captures Stunning Saturn Hurricane For First Time

Category: Technology / Apr 30, 2013 12:50PM EDT
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting Saturn for the past nine years, and now NASA has been able to capture stunning images of the first close-up, visible-light views of a massive hurricane over Saturn’s north pole. Cassini has been following a hexagon over the north pole which is bigger than two earths. It has been winter in the north, but now that its Spring the clouds have cleared and a Saturn hurricane can be seen. Unlike terrestrial hurricanes on earth, Saturn’s is fixed above the north pole and doesn’t churn over an ocean. This is one of the many mysteries the Cassini team is trying to solve. The special filters measure the height of the clouds. Red marks lower clouds, green is higher. According to NASA, the hurricane’s eye is about 1,250 miles wide with winds traveling up to 330 mph, which is 4 times the speed of an average hurricane on Earth. Scientists aren’t sure how long the hurricane has been active, but the believe the massive storm could have been churning for years. Video Source: NASA