Science

NASA’s close call with Saturn hurricane leads to amazing imagery

Cassini's Saturn Hurricane View
Image Credit: Media credit: NASA/JPL

This amazing video shows images from Cassini, a spacecraft that’s orbited Saturn for nine years. A huge hurricane is the star of the show.

With 300 mile per hour winds, the storm is the size of two Earths. Its eye alone is a massive 1,250 miles wide. Strangely, the storm has gravitated toward the planet’s north pole. But the biggest mystery, NASA reps say, is how the hurricane came to be in the absence of oceans and in a mostly hydrogen atmosphere that contains very little water vapor.

This specific storm is something NASA has been interested in for ages, and these are the first close-up, visible-light pictures of the hurricane.

Here’s a quick look at some of Cassini’s pictures of the storm:

Cassini made headlines a few months ago with more gorgeous images of Saturn, this time showing the planet backlit by the sun and glowing in green and yellow hues.

Cassini arrived in Saturn’s system in 2004. Since then, Cassini has provided new information on Saturn’s rings and moons. It’s scheduled to be crashed into the planet in 2017.

Media credit: NASA/JPL