Planets and Moons  ID: 11468

A Mighty Wind

A peculiarly shaped wind pattern has been whipping around Saturn's north polar region for decades. First discovered by NASA’s Voyager mission in the early 1980s, the planet’s six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, is somewhat of an oddity. Diverse bands of winds and rotating vortices circle the eye of a hurricane-like storm centered on the north pole. Moving at more than 200 mph, the jet stream is several thousand miles long and could encompass Earth twice. In 2012, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured the most detailed and comprehensive images of the speedy system yet. Watch the video to see Saturn's jet stream in motion.

Story Credits

Lead Writer:
Julia Calderone (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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