Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturn's hexagon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saturn's hexagon is a persisting hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of Saturn, located at about 78°N.[1][2] The sides of the hexagon are about 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long, which is longer than the Earth's diameter.[3] It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn's radio emissions from its interior.[4] However, the hexagon does not shift in longitude like other clouds in the visible atmosphere.[5]
Saturn's south pole does not have a hexagon, according to Hubble observations.[6] But it does have a vortex, and there is also a vortex inside the northern hexagon.
Saturn's polar hexagon discovery was made by the Voyager mission, and it was revisited since 2006 by the Cassini mission.[7] Cassini was only able to take thermal infrared images of the hexagon, until it started to become visible by light in January of 2009

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