Saturn found a rose


Giant hurricane on the surface Saturn,
like a rose bud, photographed the space probe NASA Cassini. The magnitude of the storm is impressive: its diameter is 2 thousand km, which is 20 times larger than the biggest storm on Earth.

Cassini for the first time allowed the researchers to see the storm on Saturn in detail. Wind speed at the center of the hurricane, as it turned out, up to 150 m / sec. In contrast to terrestrial storms that moved across the planet, a hurricane on Saturn is stationary and is at its north pole. On Earth, hurricanes tend to drift to the north because of wind turbulence caused by the movement of the planet.

However, in many respects a storm on Saturn is similar to Earth's, the researchers note. It also features a hurricane "eye" — the center of the vortex, in which there are no clouds, as well as other signs of earthly storm.

"We were surprised when considered whirlwind, as it looked like a hurricane on Earth," — said Andrew Ingersoll of the California Institute of Technology. "But Saturn's all on a much larger scale, with the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere of Saturn is much less," — he added.

Recall the recent Cassini helped researchers determine that the rings and moons of Saturn are much older than previously thought. The data space probe indicate that they are around 4 billion years.

This means that the gas giant spins a sort of "antique shop" — the ancient celestial body that appeared during the birth of the solar system, at a time when there were around a young star protoplanetary cloud.

To come to such a decision Cassini data have allowed astronomers to that around Saturn has a large number of water ice. Since outside Saturn "Snowy line" where the water is not evaporated by solar radiation, the astronomers concluded that this ancient ice occurred during the time of birth of the solar system. He could not be listed there by comets, because its too much.

Cassini also recently gathered new data about the satellites and rings of Saturn, which could explain why they are painted in a particular color. For example, powerful geysers on Enceladus paint the satellite and the nearby ring in white. Other rings and moons have a reddish tint, which they must, apparently, meteorites, zanesshego there a large number of iron oxide, writes The Daily Mail.

Victor Pospelov

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