December 9, 2009

Something Wonderful: The Hexagonal JetStream of Saturn

"A six-sided polygon that encircles the pole of Saturn and it is sitting there as a set feature.... It's been there now for at least 20 years and we're saying, 'What is this?' "

Will miracles never cease? No. Even should we cease, miracles will unfold forever. Miracle resides in the deepest foundations of this universe where everything that is is a miracle.

This just in: Spring Unveils Saturn's Hexagon (NASA Cassini Saturn Mission Images)

The hexagon was hidden in darkness during the winter of Saturn's long year, a year that is equal to about 29 Earth years. But as the planet approached its August 2009 equinox and signaled the start of northern spring, the hexagon was revealed to Cassini's cameras. This is the first time the whole hexagonal shape has been mapped out in visible light by Cassini, and these images show unprecedented details of Saturn's high northern latitudes. The hexagon was originally discovered in images taken by Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s. Since 2006, the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument has been observing the hexagon at infrared wavelengths, but at lower spatial resolution than these visible light images.


HT: A hex on Saturn (again)! @ Bad Astronomy Posted by Vanderleun at December 9, 2009 2:43 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Where is Erich Von Daniken when we need him?

Posted by: Harry at December 9, 2009 4:28 PM

The picture is a cross section of a furred-up artery; it was included in some promotional bunf I received today from a company called Life Line Screening, asking me to to pay £139 for four vascular ultrasound screenings. Unfortunately for them I live in East Anglia and science is a dirty word just now in these here parts.

Anyway, I recently had it done free through the National Health Service ('free' that is, if you define free as paying exorbitant taxes and National Insurance payments for a lifetime). Topical in the US just now, I understand.

Posted by: Frank P at December 9, 2009 6:16 PM

Comment 15 from the link: What REALLY blew the astronomer’s mind was when he stared at the image and asked “How does this happen?”…and a bluish-colored triangle appeared in the center reading “Ask again later”. Heh.

Posted by: The Count at December 9, 2009 10:33 PM

What’s the big deal, I’m sure we could just blame it on some “out of control Russian rocket”.

Posted by: tim at December 10, 2009 7:12 AM

Mystery solved by Homer Simpson... it's a "doh-nut" in "hex-nut", but in this case a yummy crunchy cakey fits 4 earths inside doh-nut.

Can you tell I've been on a diet?

Posted by: Western Chauvinist at December 10, 2009 7:16 AM

Could it be a Zionist Conspiracy? Six sided hexagons aren't all that different from 6 pointed stars...and I am sure the Zionists aren't content with Judea and Samaria, but have some sort of nebulous plans for Saturn.

Posted by: Jewel at December 11, 2009 5:33 PM