Planets and Moons  ID: 11264

The Tempest

There’s a storm brewing on Saturn. Though it looks like a hurricane, the force and size of the spinning vortex at the planet’s north pole far outstrip that of any on Earth. The storm's eye measures more than 1,000 miles in diameter, making it twenty times larger in size than the typical eye of a terrestrial storm. And the winds around its center travel at 330 mph, or twice the speed of a Category 4 hurricane. In November 2012 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured high-resolution images of the storm. The detailed views reveal the counter-clockwise nature of its spiral, and provide scientists with the first close-up look at Saturn’s north pole since the spacecraft arrived at the planet in 2004. Watch the video to see the storm in motion.


Story Credits

Writer:
Aviva H. Rutkin (USRA)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Video courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University
Images courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

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NASA Science >> Planets and Moons