APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:08 am

Image Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light

Explanation: Believe it or not, this is the North Pole of Saturn. It is unclear how an unusual hexagonal cloud system that surrounds Saturn's north pole was created, keeps its shape, or how long it will last. Originally discovered during the Voyager flybys of Saturn in the 1980s, nobody has ever seen anything like it elsewhere in the Solar System. Although its infrared glow was visible previously to the Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn, in 2009 the mysterious hexagonal vortex became fully illuminated by sunlight for the first time during the Cassini's visit. Since then, Cassini has imaged the rotating hexagon in visible light enough times to create a time-lapse movie. The pole center was not well imaged and has been excluded. This movie shows many unexpected cloud motions, such as waves emanating from the corners of the hexagon. Planetary scientists are sure to continue to study this most unusual cloud formation for quite some time.

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Beyond
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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Beyond » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:30 am

The infared glow looks very much like a strawberry parfait. Yum! :chomp:
I gave up on the game.It's pretty-well fixed.
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islader2

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by islader2 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:34 am

The proposed flag for the occupied counties of Ireland has a neat hexagon. Erin go bragh.

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Beyond » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:08 am

islader2 wrote:The proposed flag for the occupied counties of Ireland has a neat hexagon. Erin go bragh.
What would Erin be missing if Erin stayed put?
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

tytower1

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by tytower1 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:43 am

Its obvious of course
Its the nut that hold saturn in place with it's bolt

Now all we have to do is find a big enough spanner and loosen it.

kotarakos

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by kotarakos » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:54 am

Did they release any images that show the pole? Even if its not a great image.

I'm sure the "earth's pole is a hole to another planet" conspiracy theorists had a ball with this one

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by bactame » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:23 am

The Earth also experiences Jet outflows along the Polar Front but they vary in number from 4-6. Six though is much neater since Circumference = 2 pi R and is approximately 6 which means for any circle you can fit its radius onto its circumference approx. six times. Thus in the spring as the polar front recedes toward the pole it can shed rotational momentum at approximately six places along that front. For the Earth the equator is moving at approx. 1,000 mph but this declines slowly as air moves north or south.

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Qev » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:24 am

tytower1 wrote:Its obvious of course
Its the nut that hold saturn in place with it's bolt

Now all we have to do is find a big enough spanner and loosen it.
We picked up Saturn as a flat-pack planet at Ikea. I'm just not sure where we put that Allen key after we were done assembling it...
Don't just stand there, get that other dog!

Sinan İpek

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Sinan İpek » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:40 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQzLY17n ... creen&NR=1
Is it real? Can this explain the hexagonal cloud phenemon?
What do you think?

DickFeynman

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by DickFeynman » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:37 am

It is real, it was reported online which I recall seeing, and is why I came here to "discuss" the mystery - http://www.physorg.com/news190642287.html

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Astronymus » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:41 am

The core of Saturn is a giant super crystal which symmentry leads to vortexes in the upper atmosphere.



I made that up, of course. But who knows. Maybe I am right in the end and the phenomenon will be named after me. :lol:

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Star*Hopper » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:12 am

"Perhaps I'll never touch a star, but at least let me reach." ~J Faircloth

Byork

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Byork » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:31 am

each side of the saturn hexagon consists of atmospheric tunnels caused by differential flow of particles above and below hexagon latitude. the atmospheric tunneling system may at times extend for the full length of hexagonal structure. particle stream along length of tunneling must be in a braided manner - the intertwining of one or more streams of particles form the tunneling phenomenon.
intertwining of streams of particles also exist on the galactic scale - the andromeda galaxy has numerous intertwining streams of stars along its spiral arms forming braided strands of star clouds. however, on the galactic scale, gravitational forces are probably involved in formation of the braided star cloud structure.

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by obscurechemist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:54 pm

looks like cyclohexane to me

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:09 pm

don't blink during the movie. or you'll miss it. :wink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZAI1LkFlVg
Orin

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by smitty » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:42 pm

Can anyone say whether the apparently linear "spokes" seen in the movie are real phenomena or simply artifacts of the way in which the images were processed?

Steve Dutch

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Steve Dutch » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:57 pm

Technical note: two frames is not a time lapse movie.

This appears to be a fantastic example of a standing wave, though why six cycles and why it is sustained are still mysteries.

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by TNT » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:15 pm

Is the black area a circular frame or space?
There should be an apostrophe between the 'n' and 's' in Saturns :wink:
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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by owlice » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:27 pm

TNT wrote: There should be an apostrophe between the 'n' and 's' in Saturns :wink:
There is on the original APOD, but Otto Posterman cannot handle apostrophes. Give the guy a break; he's a robot!
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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by neufer » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:33 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl-Gustaf_Arvid_Rossby wrote:
Image
Dec. 17, 1956 Time
<<Carl-Gustaf Arvid Rossby (Stockholm 28 December 1898 – Stockholm 19 August 1957) was a Swedish-U.S. meteorologist who first explained the large-scale motions of the atmosphere in terms of fluid mechanics. Rossby came into meteorology and oceanography while studying under Vilhelm Bjerknes in Bergen in 1919, where Bjerknes' group was developing the concept of polar front, and University of Leipzig. He also studied at the Lindenberg Observatory, Brandenburg where upper air measurements by kite and balloon were researched.

During World War II, Rossby organised the training of military meteorologists, recruiting many of them to his Chicago department in the post-war years where he began adapting his mathematical description of atmospheric dynamics to weather forecasting by electronic computer, having started this actitivites in Sweden using BESK. In 1947 he became founding director of the Institute of Meteorology in Stockholm, dividing his time between there, Chicago and Woods Hole. After the war he visited Professor Hans Ertel, an old friend, in Berlin. Their cooperation led to the mathematical formulation of the socalled Rossby waves. Between 1954 and his death in Stockholm in 1958, he championed and developed the field of atmospheric chemistry.>>
Art Neuendorffer

Al B

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Al B » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:52 pm

I'd like to believe all things are the same whether it's a whirlpool in the sink, a tornado, hurricane, or galaxy. A drop of oil on the still waters surface or the expansion of the universe. Saturn's hexagon or a snowflake. The only difference is size, so I guess that it does matter.

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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Beyond » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:53 pm

orin stepanek wrote:don't blink during the movie. or you'll miss it. :wink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZAI1LkFlVg
I didn't have time to blink. :lol:
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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Al B wrote:I'd like to believe all things are the same whether it's a whirlpool in the sink, a tornado, hurricane, or galaxy. A drop of oil on the still waters surface or the expansion of the universe. Saturn's hexagon or a snowflake. The only difference is size, so I guess that it does matter.
Size matters hugely... and is why things are demonstrably not the same over different scales. Atoms behave differently than sink drains, which behave differently than tornadoes, which behave differently than galaxies.
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Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by TTLG » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:52 pm

The pole was blacked out because it was low res? Sounds like a conspiracy to me. Must be a spaceport. This explains the patterns as well as all the UFO's we are seeing. ;-)

Durant

Re: APOD: Saturns Hexagon Comes to Light (2012 Jan 22)

Post by Durant » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:20 pm

The hexagon is a popular shape in nature ... witness the benzene ring and the compartments in a honeycomb.