APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

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APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:11 am

Image A Raging Storm System on Saturn

Explanation: It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet. The storm was tracked not only from Earth but from up close by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn. Pictured above in false colored infrared in February, orange colors indicate clouds deep in the atmosphere, while light colors highlight clouds higher up. The rings of Saturn are seen nearly edge-on as the thin blue horizontal line. The warped dark bands are the shadows of the rings cast onto the cloud tops by the Sun to the upper left. A source of radio noise from lightning, the intense storm was thought to relate to seasonal changes when spring emerges in the north of Saturn. After raging for over six months, the iconic storm circled the entire planet and then tried to absorb its own tail -- which surprisingly caused it to fade away.

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Ann » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:28 am

Nice picture! I'm always happy to see Jupiter - oops, I mean, what a great picture of Saturn!

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by donalgary » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:57 am

I think of Saturn's rings as being mostly empty space -- that is a satellite could fly through them with only a relatively small chance of being hit by anything. So why do they cast such a dense shadow?

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:25 am

donalgary wrote:I think of Saturn's rings as being mostly empty space -- that is a satellite could fly through them with only a relatively small chance of being hit by anything. So why do they cast such a dense shadow?
Keep in mind that you are seeing a ring system that is always illuminated from the side. So you see more than 100,000 km of radial ring structure cast as a highly foreshortened shadow across a few thousand km of Saturn's cloud tops. The shallow path taken by light diagonally through the rings means the optical path increases to hundreds or even thousands of km. Take a piece of some essentially transparent, low density material like window screen and it will cast only a weak shadow when held perpendicular to the Sun. Tip it sideways, however, and the shadow will become as dense as if cast by a solid body.

Also, we can't typically assess the actual shadow density from images. In order to maximize the visual detail, image contrast is almost always stretched so that the lightest regions are displayed as white, and the darkest as black. That's not how our eyes work, of course, and it's likely that if you were in the apparently dense ring shadow, you'd find the actual light level quite high.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by LJK » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:33 am

Is the small black dot in the southern hemisphere center left a shadow of one of Saturn's moons cast by the Sun?
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Willy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:29 am

A great and confusing picture, at first it seems like one is looking at Jupiter.

Fortunately (for the moment) we are not suffering storms of this magnitude on planet Earth.

For those interested, I translated two corresponding videos into Spanish. Particularly the second one gives a better idea of what we're looking at.

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by yasgur » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:24 pm

LJK wrote:Is the small black dot in the southern hemisphere center left a shadow of one of Saturn's moons cast by the Sun?
LK
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I was going to ask the same question and didn't want to waste that quote. :ssmile:

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Psnarf » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:14 pm

Me too: great image! I couldn't have imagined such a beautiful close-up image of Saturn back in my wild and crazy youth. Kudos for bringing out the storm details in the clouds below the surface.

I can't imagine how that vortex got started in a planet with no source of heat from the cold gas below.

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by henrystar » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:09 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: image contrast is almost always stretched so that the lightest regions are displayed as white, and the darkest as black.
So true! And optical photos of the sky show the background as BLACK whereas it is in fact BRIGHT with zodiacal light.

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by MargaritaMc » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:14 pm

http://events.slooh.com/

Is anyone familiar with 'Slooh'? It is completely new to me - I came across the very end of a live broadcast of the partial lunar eclipse of a few days back.

On the URL above it says that it has a live broadcast of Saturn on the 28th April, which, of course, culminates at about midnight around now. I couldn't see how to get more information, but, oddly, a count down timer makes it look as tho it is happening TODAY, not tomorrow.

Sorry not to be more informative, but I thought that other Asterisk*ians might know more.

Saturn should be a fantastic sight at present, with the rings tipped at 19°. I never cease to find it breath-takingly beautiful, but have only seen it in photographs, and as a point of light in the sky.
Margarita
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=31263 for info about Saturn at its brightest
Last edited by MargaritaMc on Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:17 pm

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:30 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:On the URL above it says that it has a live broadcast of Saturn on the 28th April, which, of course, culminates at about midnight around now. I couldn't see how to get more information, but, oddly, a count down timer makes it look as tho it is happening TODAY, not tomorrow.
Slooh wrote:Slooh’s coverage will begin on Sunday, April 28th, starting at 6:30 p.m. PDT / 9:30 p.m. EDT / 01:30 UTC (April 29th), - additional times here:
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:00 pm

Ah, the mysteries of Saturn....Spring, huh? Well....April Showers, Bring May Flowers!

Great looking shot.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by neufer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:51 pm

APOD Robot wrote:Image A Raging Storm System on Saturn

Explanation: It was one of the largest and longest lived storms ever recorded in our Solar System. First seen in late 2010, the above cloud formation in the northern hemisphere of Saturn started larger than the Earth and soon spread completely around the planet... After raging for over six months, the iconic storm circled the entire planet and then tried to absorb its own tail -- which surprisingly caused it to fade away.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
"Have either of you ever seen a scorpion sting himself to death?"
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_a_scorpion_accidentally_kill_itself wrote:
Scorpions cannot accidentally kill themselves. Their venom has no effect on the scorpion or any other scorpion of the same family. The belief that scorpions sting themselves to death to commit suicide when confronted by fire, or other life threatening situations is a myth and completely false. The misconception may have been founded from the way in which scorpions react to intense heat. As scorpions are cold blooded animals (poikilotherms), when they are exposed to intense heat, their metabolic process malfunction, causing the scorpion to spasm wildly. This can appear as if the scorpion is stinging itself. It is also untrue that alcohol will cause scorpions to sting themselves to death.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by MargaritaMc » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:23 pm

neufer wrote:
APOD Robot wrote:Image A Raging Storm System on Saturn

... After raging for over six months, the iconic storm circled the entire planet and then tried to absorb its own tail -- which surprisingly caused it to fade away.
More a ouroboros than a scorpion?
Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros
The Ouroboros or Uroborus[a] is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.
The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (compare with phoenix). It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.

Margarita

edited to correct spelling mistake kindly pointed out by Art
Last edited by MargaritaMc on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by neufer » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:48 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
neufer wrote:
APOD Robot wrote:Image A Raging Storm System on Saturn

... After raging for over six months, the iconic storm circled the entire planet and then tried to absorb its own tail -- which surprisingly caused it to fade away.
More a ouroborus than a scorpion?
There's no such thing as an ouroborus:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros wrote:
<<The Ouroboros, also spelled Ourorboros, Oroborus, Uroboros or Uroborus,
is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle.>>
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... os#p192152
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... os#p184157
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... os#p159178
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Beyond » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:25 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:Is anyone familiar with SLOOH?
It's a private organization that anyone can join to study space. They have 3-telescopes, the biggest one being on a mountain near you, Margarita. Here's the url for their website.http://events.slooh.com/. You should be able to get anything you want to know there, including how to join, IF you're so inclined. I noticed the site has changed a little since the last time i was there.
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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Ann » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:18 am

Imagine eating your own tail. No wonder you fade away.

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:41 am

I have a bit of trouble with this storm being because it is a change of season on Saturn...there are many such photos of Saturn in "Spring", and the changes of the seasons....no storm phenomena. I think it is a coincidence that it happened in Spring.

Also, I see no photos of the phenomena in the other hemisphere when it would be Spring there...

My other thought is...as the storm came around to "eating its own tail and fading", that the storm's own trail of disturbance dissipated the storms energy, and it stopped as the atmosphere was unstable. Like an airplane having trouble in the wake of another airplane.

My thoughts as I observe other photos...

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:36 am

Beyond wrote:
MargaritaMc wrote:Is anyone familiar with SLOOH?
It's a private organization that anyone can join to study space. They have 3-telescopes, the biggest one being on a mountain near you, Margarita. Here's the url for their website.http://events.slooh.com/. You should be able to get anything you want to know there, including how to join, IF you're so inclined. I noticed the site has changed a little since the last time i was there.
Thank you, Beyond. I did try to stay awake till the live broadcast, which began at 2:30 a.m our time, but I couldn't manage it. This old lady just can NOT do without sleep...

There is recorded version on the Slooh page (and YouTube?) but I think the live version would have had one screen with a continual view of Saturn, whereas the recording is mostly people talking.

And, yes! It was from a telescope near me! And, to my surprise, the presenter of the event was speaking from Somerset in England.

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

RET

Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by RET » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:27 am

LJK wrote:Is the small black dot in the southern hemisphere center left a shadow of one of Saturn's moons cast by the Sun?
LK
It's the shadow of Enceladus.
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12829

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by DavidLeodis » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:41 am

It's a superb image. :)

In its explanation it states "February" so implying that was the month it was taken, but in the information brought up through the "Pictured above" link it states the image was acquired "Jan. 12, 2011". I wonder therefore if the "February" is a typing error or am I missing some other information about the image :?:

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Re: APOD: A Raging Storm System on Saturn (2013 Apr 28)

Post by Beyond » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:50 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
Beyond wrote:
MargaritaMc wrote:Is anyone familiar with SLOOH?
It's a private organization that anyone can join to study space. They have 3-telescopes, the biggest one being on a mountain near you, Margarita. Here's the url for their website.http://events.slooh.com/. You should be able to get anything you want to know there, including how to join, IF you're so inclined. I noticed the site has changed a little since the last time i was there.
Thank you, Beyond. I did try to stay awake till the live broadcast, which began at 2:30 a.m our time, but I couldn't manage it. This old lady just can NOT do without sleep...

There is recorded version on the Slooh page (and YouTube?) but I think the live version would have had one screen with a continual view of Saturn, whereas the recording is mostly people talking.

And, yes! It was from a telescope near me! And, to my surprise, the presenter of the event was speaking from Somerset in England.

Margarita
One thing to keep in mind is that the pictures of the planets you see on SLOOH are not as good as what you see in the Asterisk*. That's because of the atmosphere the telescope looks through. So you most likely will be somewhat disappointed. When they do a Live event, the bigger main window is always open to what the telescope is seeing. There is also a smaller window below it where the talking takes place. That way you can see both the live event and the live commentary at the same time. For a private organization, it's pretty good. But we at the Asterisk* have been somewhat (a lot) spoiled by NASA's pictures. After all, who can compete with the Hubble for deep space, or the spacecraft taking pictures around the planets?
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.