Space Photos of the Week: Saturn’s Mysterious Hexagon
What is the giant hexagon on Saturn?
Saturn’s hexagon is a persistent approximately hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet Saturn, located at about 78N. The sides of the hexagon are about 14,500 km (9,000 mi) long, which is about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) longer than the diameter of Earth.
What is inside the hexagonal pattern on Saturn?
Scientists can see the motion of a wide variety of cloud structures that reside within the hexagon in this movie. There is a massive hurricane tightly centered on the north pole, with an eye about 50 times larger than the average hurricane eye on Earth. (More information about that Saturn hurricane is at PIA14947.)
Why is there a hexagon storm on Saturn?
In their paper, the scientists say that the unnatural-looking hurricane occurs when atmospheric flows deep within Saturn create large and small vortices (aka cyclones) that surround a larger horizontal jet stream blowing east near the planet’s north pole that also has a number of storms within it.
How old is the hexagon on Saturn?
The hexagon, which surrounds a smaller circular vortex situated at the north pole, has existed for at least 38 years; NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft spotted the sharp-cornered feature when they flew by Saturn in 1980 and 1981, respectively.
How long has the hexagon storm been on Saturn?
A turbulent hexagon-shaped storm has been raging near Saturn’s north pole for at least four decades – we first discovered it in 1981 during the Voyager mission. Even with a front-row view from the Cassini probe however, details on Saturn’s hexagon have been scant.
Is Saturns hexagon a hurricane?
There is a massive, persistent, hexagon-shaped jet stream on Saturn’s north pole the perfect six-sided hurricane, 60 miles deep, that could swallow four Earths
Does it rain diamonds on Saturn?
About 10 million tons of diamond rain down on Saturn each year. The new molecule is relatively heavy, and when attracted by the planet’s gravity, begins to be drawn downwards.
Why are there hexagons in nature?
The answer has to do with packing efficiency. If a series of circles were packed on top of each other, there would be empty spaces in between them. But these empty spaces can be avoided by changing the shape to a hexagon. So, the hexagon allows the bees to pack the most cells in the smallest space.
Is Earth a hexagon?
Earth has a diameter of 12,742 kilometres (7,917.5 miles) – two Earths could fit inside the hexagon, with room to spare. It also rotates at roughly the same rate as the planet itself, indicating that the structure is tied to the planet’s rotation, much like the polar front jet stream here on Earth.
Why is the pole of Saturn hexagonal?
They believe that vortexes occur at the planet’s north pole because of atmospheric flows deep within the gas giant, and that these vortexes pinch an intense horizontal jet near the equatorwhich is what warps the storm into a hexagon.
What color is the hexagon on Saturn?
The mysterious hexagon at Saturn’s northern pole has changed colour from blue to gold, scientists have said. The hexagon is essentially a rotating cloud pattern; its shape may originate as the result of large differences in the speeds of Saturn’s winds.
Is there a hexagon on Jupiter?
In this annotated infrared image, six cyclones form a hexagonal pattern around a central cyclone at Jupiter’s south pole. The image was generated from data collected on Nov. 4, 2019, by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard NASA’s Juno mission during its 23rd science pass of the planet.
Why is Jupiter pole hexagon?
SAN FRANCISCO NASA’s Juno probe discovered a giant new storm swirling near Jupiter’s south pole last month, a few weeks after pulling off a dramatic death-dodging maneuver.
Can you land on Saturn?
The planet is mostly swirling gases and liquids deeper down. While a spacecraft would have nowhere to land on Saturn, it wouldn’t be able to fly through unscathed either. The extreme pressures and temperatures deep inside the planet would crush, melt, and vaporize any spacecraft trying to fly into the planet.
Does Jupiter and Saturn rain diamonds?
But in the dense atmospheres of planets like Jupiter and Saturn, whose massive size generates enormous amounts of gravity, crazy amounts of pressure and heat can squeeze carbon in mid-air and make it rain diamonds.
What planet rains diamonds?
Deep within Neptune and Uranus, it rains diamondsor so astronomers and physicists have suspected for nearly 40 years. The outer planets of our Solar System are hard to study, however. Only a single space mission, Voyager 2, has flown by to reveal some of their secrets, so diamond rain has remained only a hypothesis.
Is there life on Saturn?
Unfortunately, no. Saturn can’t support life as we know it because Saturn is a gas giant planet. It has no solid surface because it is composed of gases, mostly hydrogen and helium. The further into the atmosphere, the denser it gets, and the pressure squeezes the gas into a liquid.
Is Saturn hot or cold?
Like the other gas giants, Saturn’s surface to atmosphere interface is rather nebulous, and likely has a small, rocky core surrounded by a liquid and very thick atmosphere. Saturn is considerably colder than Jupiter being further from the Sun, with an average temperature of about -285 degrees F.
How many Earths can you fit in Saturn?
Saturn is much larger than Earth. More than 700 Earths could fit inside Saturn.
What planet has the most gold?
Well, at current market prices, 16 Psyche contain enough gold and other precious metals to be worth roughly $700 quintillion, which is enough to give every single human being on this planet a private fortune of nearly a hundred billion bucks.
Will Saturn’s rings become a moon?
The answer to the headline question is: No. Most of Saturn’s rings are below the Roche limit of about 2.5 Saturn radii. Hence tidal forces will prevent that part of the rings to form a (large) moon.
Which planet has most diamonds?
In fact, would you believe us, if we told you that diamonds quite literally stud the sky? For centuries, astronomers have been fascinated by Saturn. After all, she has been hailed as the precious jewel of our solar system, one of the most beautiful planets.
What does a hexagon mean in the Bible?
In Christian iconography, the hexagonal shape is reminiscent of a casket, a small pointed boat-like structure in which to depart this life and journey toward the New Jerusalem. It symbolizes the burial of the old sinful self.
What does hexagon mean spiritually?
Hexagons as sacred symbols
It is found in sacred shapes like the Flower of Life, which is seen in ancient architecture around the world. Because of its two interlocking triangles, the hexagon as a symbol often stands for harmony and balance and also male and female energy .
Where can you find a hexagon in real life?
Hexagons are typically six straight sides of equal length. You may see snowflakes in that pattern. Beehives, ice crystals are other common occurrences of hexagon in real life.
Is Saturn blue?
Saturn’s northern hemisphere is a serene blue, more befitting of Uranus or Neptune, as seen in this natural color image from Cassini.
Why is Pluto not a planet?
According to the IAU, Pluto is technically a dwarf planet, because it has not cleared its neighboring region of other objects. This means that Pluto still has lots of asteroids and other space rocks along its flight path, rather than having absorbed them over time, like the larger planets have done.
What Colour is Saturn?
Viewed from Earth, Saturn has an overall hazy yellow-brown appearance. The surface that is seen through telescopes and in spacecraft images is actually a complex of cloud layers decorated by many small-scale features, such as red, brown, and white spots, bands, eddies, and vortices, that vary over a fairly short time.
Which planet has a hexagon?
These storms very likely swirl deep within planet and the storms’ convection funnels and pinches the atmospheric flows, confining it to the top of Saturn into a hexagonal shape. The hexagonal flow pattern on Saturn is a striking example of turbulent self-organization, the researchers wrote in their paper.
What is the surface of Titan like?
Titan is an icy moon with a surface of rock-hard water ice, but Titan also likely has a liquid water ocean beneath its surface.
What strange feature is seen at Saturn’s north pole?
A deep, hexagon-shaped feature lies above Saturn’s north pole, newly released images from the Cassini spacecraft reveal. The strange structure appears to be nearly stationary and may be a wave that stretches deep into the giant planet’s atmosphere.
Which planets can humans live on?
Then, just last year, scientists discovered another Earth-like planet orbiting one of our closest neighboring stars, Proxima Centauri. Currently, this planet is the best candidate we have for supporting human life.
What if you fell into Neptune?
Can u stand on Saturn’s rings?
While they look like giant discs, they’re not a solid track at all. Instead, they’re made of millions of chunks of ice, some as tiny as dust particles, others as large as buses. But if you were able to hike on one of Saturn’s outermost rings, you’ll walk about 12 million kilometers to make it around the longest one.
Does it rain on Pluto?
But, conditions on distant planets in our solar system remain a mystery. Although most scientists believe it doesn’t rain on Pluto, this far-away dwarf planet experiences its own unique weather patterns, including snowfall and seasonal temperature changes.
What rains in Mars?
At present, Mars’ water appears to be trapped in its polar ice caps and possibly below the surface. Because of Mars’ very low atmospheric pressure, any water that tried to exist on the surface would quickly boil away. atmosphere as well as around mountain peaks. No precipitation falls however.
What planet does it rain acid?
But if that doesn’t sound painful enough, rain on Venus is made up of extremely corrosive sulphuric acid, which would severely burn any interstellar traveller’s skin.