[caption id="attachment_65471" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Images Captured By NASA[/caption]Cassini Spacecraft Captures Images of Saturn Hurricane
The spacecraft Cassini, which was sent on a mission to Saturn, has produced vivid photographs of a spectacular hurricane on the planet.
Cassini arrived on Saturn back in 2004 during the winter period of the planet. Saturn makes one complete Earth-like revolution around the sun every 29 years.
Scientist believe the winds in this hurricane reach speeds of 330 mph. Cassini only recently was able to capture photographs of the north pole of Saturn during sunlit times. The pictures were taken as the spacecraft orbits at a height of 260,000 miles from the surface of the planet.
The hurricane has been raging for years on the planet and appears to be contained at the North Pole. Scientist believe that small amounts of water vapor in a hydrogen atmosphere continue to fuel the hurricane. Hurricanes have only recently been viewed on Saturn or any other planet for that fact. It was Cassini that first observed the hurricane when it photographed one on Saturn back in 2006.
The recent photographs were received via red & infrared wavelengths. Interestingly enough, the spacecraft Cassini got its name from the famous Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini who was the first to observe Saturn's moons in the late 1600s and early 1700s.
Check out the image below.
[caption id="attachment_65472" align="aligncenter" width="946"] The Rose
The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second).
This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn's north pole captured by Cassini's imaging cameras. When the spacecraft arrived in the Saturnian system in 2004, it was northern winter and the north pole was in darkness. Saturn's north pole was last imaged under sunlight by NASA's Voyager 2 in 1981; however, the observation geometry did not allow for detailed views of the poles. Consequently, it is not known how long this newly discovered north-polar hurricane has been active.
The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 27, 2012, using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light. The images filtered at 890 nanometers are projected as blue. The images filtered at 728 nanometers are projected as green, and images filtered at 752 nanometers are projected as red. In this scheme, red indicates low clouds and green indicates high ones.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 261,000 miles (419,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 94 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI[/caption]
Saturn hurricane snapped by Cassini craft
Cassini-Huygens Mission Status Report