Amazing Saturn

Amazing Saturn: Giant hurricane, incredible rings

Stunning images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provide the first close-up, visible-light views of a massive hurricane churning around Saturn's north pole. According to NASA, the hurricane's eye is about 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) wide, 20 times larger than the average hurricane eye on Earth. Scientists believe the massive storm has been active for years. Scientists will use the hurricane on Saturn to study hurricanes on Earth that feed off warm ocean water. Meanwhile, a new research has revealed how Saturn keeps itself looking young.

The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a rose surrounded by green foliage in this NASA false-color handout image
The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a rose surrounded by green foliage in this false-color handout image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft taken November 27, 2012. Measurements have sized the eye at 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second). REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Handout

More information after the Break....

Latest Images From NASA's Cassini Probe to Saturn
Saturn's peaceful beauty invites the Cassini spacecraft for a closer look in this natural color view, taken during the spacecraft's approach to the planet. By this point in the approach sequence, Saturn was large enough that two narrow angle camera images were required to capture an end-to-end view of the planet, its delicate rings and several of its icy moons. The composite is made entire from these two images. Moons visible in this mosaic: Epimetheus (116 kilometers, 72 miles across), Pandora (84 kilometers, 52 miles across) and Mimas (398 kilometers, 247 miles across) at left of Saturn; Prometheus (102 kilometers, 63 miles across), Janus (181 kilometers, 113 miles across) and Enceladus (499 kilometers, 310 miles across) at right of Saturn. (Photo by NASA/WireImage)

Moons Of Saturn
A montage of Saturn and its moons Dione (front), Tethys and Mimas (right), Enceladus and Rhea (left), and Titan (distant top), as depicted by the Voyager 1 spacecraft, November 1980. (Photo by Space Frontiers/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Saturn's rings cast a dramatic shadow separating the blues and greens of the planet's northern hemisphere from the creamy pastels coloring the southern hemisphere.This mosaic combines 6 images--2 each of red, green and blue spectral filters--to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 30, 2008 at a distance of approximately 750,000 miles from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 30 degrees. Image scale is 42 miles per pixel. (Photo by NASA/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)

Cassini Probe Sends Pictures Of Saturn
The planet Saturn is seen in the first color composite made of images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on its approach to the ringed planet, October 21, 2002. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

Clouds Spotted On Saturns Moon Titan
In this series of images from the Keck telescope in Hawaii, patchs of white clouds are visible transiting the southern hemisphere of Saturn's largest moon Titan from December 2001 to February 2002. Scientist from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California observed for the first time clouds forming and dissipating on Titan. (Photo by M.E. Brown, A.H. Bouchez, C.A. Griffith/Keck Observatory/Getty Images)

Cassini Enters Orbit Around Saturn
This NASA handout photo taken by the Cassini spacecraft on July 1, 2004 shows a portion of Saturn's rings up close. Cassini is the first spacecraft to enter orbit around the ringed planet. (Photo by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute via Getty Images)

Cassini Spacecraft Reveals Titan Surface Details
This undated NASA handout shows Saturn's moon, Titan, in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. The Cassini spacecraft took the image while on its mission to gather information on Saturn, its rings, atmosphere and moons. The different colors represent various atmospheric content on Titan. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

Huygens Space Probe Sends Back First Pictures Of Titan
In this handout from the European Space Agncy (ESA), a composite photo of Saturn's moon Titan during the descent of European Space Agency's (ESA) Huygens is seen January 14, 2005. The image was sent to Earth through the Cassini probe orbiting Titan. (Photo by ESA/NASA /University of Arizona via Getty Images)

Latest Images From NASA's Cassini Probe to Saturn
This graph illustrates the series of sonic booms that took place when the Cassini spacecraft crossed Saturn's bow shock. A bow shock is a shock wave located where incoming solar wind meets a planet's magnetosphere, or magnetic bubble. Differences in electrical charges cause the solar wind to curve around the magnetosphere in the same way that air flows around a supersonic airplane. The resulting turbulence is heard as a sonic boom and is represented here as an increase in wave frequency. Scientists were surprised to discover that Saturn's bow shock was located at a distance of 3 million kilometers (1.9 million miles) from Saturn, much farther out than they had predicted. Because the bow shock acts like a balloon when hit, oscillating in and out, Cassini actually crossed it several times, resulting in the seven sonic booms depicted above. Red denotes louder waves, and blue quieter. This data was taken by Cassini's radio and plasma wave science instrument. (Photo by NASA/WireImage)

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