APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu May 02, 2013 4:10 am

Image Saturn Hurricane

Explanation: Acquiring its first sunlit views of far northern Saturn late last year, the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera recorded this stunning image of the vortex at the ringed planet's north pole. The false color, near-infrared image results in red hues for low clouds and green for high ones, causing the north-polar hurricane to take on the appearance of a rose. Enormous by terrestrial hurricane standards, this storm's eye is about 2,000 kilometers wide, with clouds at the outer edge traveling at over 500 kilometers per hour. The north pole Saturn hurricane swirls inside the large, six-sided weather pattern known as the hexagon. Of course, in 2006 Cassini also imaged the hurricane at Saturn's south pole.

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Beyond » Thu May 02, 2013 4:16 am

Looks like the south pole has the 'eye'. Is the one at the south pole also inside a hexagon?
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by ianb4all » Thu May 02, 2013 4:20 am

Send a satellite with a probe and fire it right into the middle and send back data of what it finds as it descends- could there be a calm part to the centre eye of that storm where it could descend.

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Ann » Thu May 02, 2013 5:44 am

Saturn's been windy lately here at APOD!

Can't help thinking of The Wind on the Moon.

Today's APOD is a stunning picture of a mega-storm, certainly!

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by bystander » Thu May 02, 2013 8:33 am

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu May 02, 2013 9:25 am

Always an awesome sight...the "MAW of Saturn"....

You have not lived until you have projected it on the wall...really cool!!!!

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by saturno2 » Thu May 02, 2013 10:24 am

Beyond wrote:Looks like the south pole has the 'eye'. Is the one at the south pole also inside a hexagon?
No. The south pole of Saturn has not a hexagon.

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by saturno2 » Thu May 02, 2013 10:49 am

500 km / h for a hurracane is a very big speed.

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by ta152h0 » Thu May 02, 2013 1:59 pm

Cassini sure is long living ! When it quits, where is it going on it's final mission ?
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu May 02, 2013 2:20 pm

hurricane_katrina.jpeg
saturno2 wrote:500 km / h for a hurracane is a very big speed.
You are absolutely right, saturno2 - that is almost twice the maximum speed of hurricane Katrina! :shock:
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Lordcat Darkstar » Thu May 02, 2013 4:34 pm

I was wondering does Saturn have jets of energetic particles coming out of its polar regions like newly forming stars and galexies? If there were I would think it would only be radio waves and would probably be very weak, but it would definently be interesting to study. Also I've never heard of it but does the sun have a vortex at its polar regions or is its rotation not fast enough to support one? Come to think of it I've never seen an image of the sun from the north or south pole. :shock:

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by LocalColor » Thu May 02, 2013 4:44 pm

So glad Cassini is still going strong after all these years. Almost like it was waiting for spring to light up the north pole to show us this amazing storm!

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Guest » Thu May 02, 2013 4:59 pm

Beyond wrote:Looks like the south pole has the 'eye'. Is the one at the south pole also inside a hexagon?

The hexagon pattern has something to do with precession and/or wobble of the North Pole area, but not the South one. K

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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by rstevenson » Thu May 02, 2013 5:34 pm

ta152h0 wrote:Cassini sure is long living ! When it quits, where is it going on it's final mission ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini%E2%80%93Huygens#End_of_mission_planning wrote:End of mission planning
During planning for its extended missions, various future plans for Cassini were evaluated especially on the basis of science return, cost, and time. Some of the options examined include collision with Saturn atmosphere, icy satellite, or rings; another is departure from Saturn orbit to Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, or a Centaur. Other options include leaving it in certain stable orbits around Saturn, or departure to a heliocentric orbit. Each plan requires certain amounts of time and changes in velocity. Another possibility was aerobraking into orbit around Titan.
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Thu May 02, 2013 6:57 pm

This false color picture is certainly dramatic, and it gives a sense of the depth of this storm in Saturn's atmosphere, but I find the true color picture available one click past the "Acquiring its first sunlit views" link more interesting. That's what Saturn's north pole would look like to human eyes ... . Mostly shades of teal and white.
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by neufer » Thu May 02, 2013 7:34 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
saturno2 wrote:
500 km / h for a hurricane is a very big speed.
You are absolutely right, saturno2 - that is almost twice the maximum speed of hurricane Katrina! :shock:
That's almost 28% the maximum speed of Saturn winds :!:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn wrote:
Wind speeds on Saturn can reach 1,800 km/h.
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Thu May 02, 2013 9:35 pm

Lordcat Darkstar wrote:I was wondering does Saturn have jets of energetic particles coming out of its polar regions like newly forming stars and galexies? If there were I would think it would only be radio waves and would probably be very weak, but it would definently be interesting to study. Also I've never heard of it but does the sun have a vortex at its polar regions or is its rotation not fast enough to support one? Come to think of it I've never seen an image of the sun from the north or south pole. :shock:
The joint ESA-NASA Ulysses spacecraft has been in a highly elliptical polar orbit around the Sun since 1994. Ulysses contributed greatly to our understanding of the Sun's polar regions and collected other useful data about the solar wind, dust entering the solar system from interstellar space, triangulating the sources of gamma ray bursts, etc. The spacecraft was dogged by technical problems throughout it's mission, and its last transmitter was shut down in 2009. Ulysses forgot to pack his camera when he set sail from Troy, unfortunately.
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Re: APOD: Saturn Hurricane (2013 May 02)

Post by saturno2 » Thu May 02, 2013 10:53 pm

neufer wrote:
MargaritaMc wrote:
saturno2 wrote:
500 km / h for a hurricane is a very big speed.
You are absolutely right, saturno2 - that is almost twice the maximum speed of hurricane Katrina! :shock:
That's almost 28% the maximum speed of Saturn winds :!:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn wrote:
Wind speeds on Saturn can reach 1,800 km/h.
500km / h is a great speed for a hurracane, but in the Solar System there are
Super Winds as on the Planet Neptune, they reach 2,000 Km / h