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Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn's Hexagon Comes to Light
NASA ^ | January 22, 2012 | (see photo credit)

Posted on 01/21/2012 11:50:53 PM PST by SunkenCiv

Explanation: Believe it or not, this is the North Pole of Saturn. It is unclear how an unusual hexagonal cloud system that surrounds Saturn's north pole was created, keeps its shape, or how long it will last. Originally discovered during the Voyager flybys of Saturn in the 1980s, nobody has ever seen anything like it elsewhere in the Solar System. Although its infrared glow was visible previously to the Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn, in 2009 the mysterious hexagonal vortex became fully illuminated by sunlight for the first time during the Cassini's visit. Since then, Cassini has imaged the rotating hexagon in visible light enough times to create a time-lapse movie. The pole center was not well imaged and has been excluded. This movie shows many unexpected cloud motions, such as waves emanating from the corners of the hexagon. Planetary scientists are sure to continue to study this most unusual cloud formation for quite some time.

January 22, 2012

(Excerpt) Read more at 129.164.179.22 ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Astronomy Picture of the Day; Science
KEYWORDS: apod; astronomy; saturn; science
[Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA]

1 posted on 01/21/2012 11:51:08 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

Previously on FR:

2 posted on 01/21/2012 11:53:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Verrrrrry interesting.

Nature forms a lot of hexagons. That has to be a clue to Saturn’s structure or composition.


3 posted on 01/22/2012 1:04:11 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

It’s been demonstrated in laboratories that it’s a result of fluid dynamics due to the difference in wind speeds at different latituds (Coriolis effect). The hexagon itself is a jet stream. The greater the difference in wind speeds in these experiments, the more sides seem to form.


4 posted on 01/22/2012 2:31:41 AM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: SunkenCiv

Click:YouTube:The Mystery Hexagon on Saturn

Certainly the most awesomely mysterious phenomena in the observable universe.

What is really mind-boggling is that the first glimpse of the hexagon was one that was only partial view taken by the Voyager space craft in a flyby of Saturn and its north pole on November 12, 1980.

The partial view of the hexagon must have driven them crazy with curiosity. These same scientists believed Saturn's north pole hexagon to be meteorlogically temporary in nature never expecting it to still be there twenty five years later.

5 posted on 01/22/2012 2:32:30 AM PST by lbryce (BHO:The bastard offspring of Satan and Medusa.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Fair enough. Is the number of sides always an even number? Anybody have a theory as to why the polygons form?


6 posted on 01/22/2012 2:39:11 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

I’ve heard they’re like standing waves, anchored by pressure zones. Can’t really say, however. I’ve just done a little internet research myself.


7 posted on 01/22/2012 2:43:37 AM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Gotcha. It’s a really fascinating phenomenon, in any case. I wonder if it has any engineering applications?


8 posted on 01/22/2012 2:46:19 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: SunkenCiv
17 Second Version of Astronomy Picture of the Day Image
Click:YouTube:SATURN.Hexagon of winds on North Pole.avi
9 posted on 01/22/2012 2:56:10 AM PST by lbryce (BHO:The bastard offspring of Satan and Medusa.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder; Slings and Arrows; SunkenCiv; lbryce

I know some of you guys will greet this with a “facepalm” but try to look at it as a “blind squirrel finding a nut” (or in this case, a nut finding a nut.)

Richard Hoagland, for all his far out speculation, has documented this type of phenomenon not just 15 years ago on Saturn, but right here on Good Old Mother Earth.

Check out these links -

http://www.enterprisemission.com/hurricane1.htm

http://www.enterprisemission.com/hurricane2.htm

http://www.enterprisemission.com/hurricane3.htm

http://www.enterprisemission.com/hurricane4.htm

In this study, Hoagland does not stop at just documenting that the phenomenon exists, he explores the meteorology and underlying physics.


10 posted on 01/22/2012 3:06:09 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder; Slings and Arrows; SunkenCiv; lbryce

Corollary research on hyperD physics and the Sun -

http://www.enterprisemission.com/hyper_confirm.htm


11 posted on 01/22/2012 3:17:37 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

I’ve no doubt someone like Dr. Hoagland, a former NASA advisor, can find similar phenomenon such as this in nature. However, when he claimed comet Elenin generated a tetrahedral force field when it was simply an image compression artifact instead, I lost whatever remaining respect I had for him. Especially when at the time, so many easily-decieved people thought it represented a doomsday event. Comet Elenin disintigrated due to a CME, by the way. Hardly something that could threaten aliens so seemingly advanced that they can generate tetrahedral force fields. Have I said enough? I think so.


12 posted on 01/22/2012 3:31:36 AM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

I haven’t been listening to C2C for the last few years. I missed RCH’s comments on Elenin.

I point out the Earth meteorology for its similar patterns to those on Saturn, not because I have great faith in the author.


13 posted on 01/22/2012 3:41:57 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

I guess I was just venting, then.


14 posted on 01/22/2012 3:44:56 AM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

I understand completely.

It bothers me to no end when significant facts are touted and then tainted when presented by people of questionable integrity and motive.

Some of Hoagland’s stuff in insightful, bordering on brilliant. Then, just as you’re about to give him kudos, he cuts an intellectual fart.


15 posted on 01/22/2012 3:52:36 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I see interesting geometrical patterns in nature all the time. Just take a walk to the beach and look around. Pennies stack perfectly when you throw them in a jar. It’s nature. Patterns happen. Could you imagine how confusing the universe would be if everything looked different and there were no patterns?


16 posted on 01/22/2012 3:57:09 AM PST by CalvaryJohn (What is keeping that damned asteroid?)
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To: SunkenCiv

Pretty cool.


17 posted on 01/22/2012 5:05:04 AM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: SunkenCiv

Wow.


18 posted on 01/22/2012 6:10:30 AM PST by Free in Texas (Member of the Bitter Clingers Association.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Hexagons are the stackable polygons with the largest area-to-surface ratio. So, whenever a maximum of compartment space with a minimum of material forms, it forms a hexagon. Many crystals are hexagonal as a result of this. Also, bee hives, seed compartments in many types of flowers, etc.

(*stackable polygons: two-dimensional shapes with linear edges which can fit together without forming gaps between them. Regular polygons with more sides have higher area-to-surface ratios, but do not fit together.)

Of course, stackable polygons make no sense when there’s only one.

The other place one finds hexagons in “nature” are rings of atoms forming cyclical molecules, such as hexose sugars. They don’t really exist as hexagons in nature, but only in schematics, but they can form hexagon images.

My guess is that there’s some form of periodicity happening in the weather where the wavelength is close enough to the 1/6 (or 1/3) of the diameter of the longitude at which it lies that the cloud formations maintain a resonance to it as they rotate around the planet. But what on Saturn that is, I would have no idea.


19 posted on 01/22/2012 6:46:53 AM PST by dangus
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To: CalvaryJohn

I’ve never seen a geometrical pattern on the beach. Pennies aren’t part of nature, and they don’t stack perfectly in a pickle jar. The patterns we see stand out precisely because they are different than the general chaos around them.


20 posted on 01/22/2012 7:47:01 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: shibumi
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

21 posted on 01/22/2012 7:47:54 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: lbryce

Could be a giant nipple.

Or the pupil in an iris.

:’)


22 posted on 01/22/2012 7:49:04 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: shibumi; Telepathic Intruder

Hoaxland has never had an original idea about celestial bodies that made any sense at all. His main delusion for years was the so-called Face on Mars, which is (and was) clearly a natural formation. To show just how far gone he is, he rented a meeting room at the UN (because he could thereafter claim to have given a speech at the UN) and gave his presentation on the Face.

He said that there was nearly 95 percent symmetry between the two halves of the face. He then cut the image down the middle, and folded it one way, showing a sort of humanoid face that was (obviously) 100 percent symmetrical, then flipped the other half to show, well, pretty much nothing (he called it a feline face, iow, the FoM is the Sphinx). It looked nothing like the other half when mirrored.

IOW, there *is* no symmetry to the “Face”, which means he himself has proved (by removing his single piece of ‘evidence’) that the “Face” is not artificial. Then he used *that* to prove that it *was*. Anyone who doesn’t see that’s either completely nuts or a con, well, I’m just glad I don’t know you.


23 posted on 01/22/2012 7:56:32 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: lbryce

Thanks lbryce.


24 posted on 01/22/2012 7:57:29 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Our God is a brilliant designer indeed!


25 posted on 01/22/2012 8:25:20 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: SunkenCiv
Could be a giant nipple.
I've always liked your historical, political viewpoint and now must certainly concur with your acute perspective on heavenly bodies as well.
26 posted on 01/22/2012 8:33:40 AM PST by lbryce (BHO:The bastard offspring of Satan and Medusa.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Was that necessary? OK, the face on Mars does bear a striking resemblence to Helen Thomas, but both are likely due to erosion and perhaps a few impacts over millions of years.


27 posted on 01/22/2012 8:51:22 AM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Telepathic Intruder
This SCIENCE magazine site from April 2010 has an embedded video of a pretty convincing analog produced in a rotating apparatus.
28 posted on 01/22/2012 10:20:45 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: SunkenCiv
Has he said anything about a very similar apparition on Vesta? To me, this jumps right out, but not everyone is impressed. I think it stands out best in this thumbnail:


29 posted on 01/22/2012 11:12:15 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: shibumi; dangus

Thank you both.


30 posted on 01/22/2012 11:28:55 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: SunkenCiv
"IOW, there *is* no symmetry to the “Face”, which means he himself has proved (by removing his single piece of ‘evidence’) that the “Face” is not artificial. Then he used *that* to prove that it *was*. Anyone who doesn’t see that’s either completely nuts or a con, well, I’m just glad I don’t know you."

That's all very nice except for the fact that nowhere in my post or links was there anything having to do with "The Face."

I also prefaced my posts with a disclaimer stating that I viewed this as a case of a blind squirrel finding a nut.

I merely wished to show that there has been some interesting work done on the appearance of polygons in Earthly phenomena. If you know of someone else who is researching in this area, then by all means, tell us.

Truly I am cut to the quick that you are so glad to not know me. Really, I am. (Sheesh!)
31 posted on 01/22/2012 8:00:48 PM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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