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Tue May 12, 2020, 01:38 PM

Saturn's weird hexagon has 'sandwich-like' layers of hazy mists


By Chelsea Gohd 3 hours ago

It's hazy days for this hexagon.



A high-res, colorful view of Saturn's Hexagon. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University)

There's an extensive system of haze layers in the bizarre hexagon on Saturn, a new study has found.

"Saturn's Hexagon" is a swirling maelstrom at the planet's north pole that, as its name implies, has an odd, hexagonal shape. The hexagon is an ever-present cloud pattern that "stands" tall as an enormous, whirling tower on the planet. The phenomenon was first discovered in 1980 by NASA's Voyager spacecraft and was later on imaged in exquisite detail by the Cassini spacecraft, which orbited the planet from 2004 to 2017.

Now ina new study, scientists with the Planetary Science Group at the University of Basque Country used images from Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope to show that Saturn's hexagon is more than just a geometric oddity. The feature has its own system of hazes layered on top of one another.

In 2015, Cassini's main camera snapped high-resolution images of Saturn that revealed the hazes above the clouds in the hexagon. Fifteen days later, the Hubble telescope also took a look at the planet and its strange hexagon. Using these images, the team was able to understand more about the layers of hexagon hazes spotted by Cassini.

More:
https://www.space.com/saturn-hexagon-weird-haze-discovery.html

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Reply Saturn's weird hexagon has 'sandwich-like' layers of hazy mists (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 2020 OP
secondwind May 2020 #1
Judi Lynn May 2020 #4
Faux pas May 2020 #2
Judi Lynn May 2020 #5
lastlib May 2020 #3
Judi Lynn May 2020 #6

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 01:41 PM

1. Beautiful to see! Thanks for posting!!

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Response to secondwind (Reply #1)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:43 PM

4. Thank you, secondwind.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 01:46 PM

2. Very cool.

Thanks for sharing.

It kinda looks like some kind of virus

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Response to Faux pas (Reply #2)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:45 PM

5. Totally unexpected appearance. Thanks.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:49 PM

3. It is mind-boggling to me how it can be so regular in shape!

So consistently and so regularly hexagonal! That's not a common phenomenon in the universe--circles and conic sections, I can see, but Pythagorean shapes? So odd.....

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Response to lastlib (Reply #3)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:47 PM

6. "Mind-boggling" is surely the right word. Haven't been able to get over the first photo of it I saw.

It really does tear away at you, if you let it!

Thanks.

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