Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Thunderstorm Bigger Than Earth?!

Tim sends in this article from Yahoo News concerning a thunderstorm as wide as the Earth now taking place on the planet Saturn. This huge storm began building last December and has now reached its' peek ferocity. NASA's Cassini spacecraft and amateur astronomers alike have separately documented what is now being touted as "One of the most violent weather events in the Solar System."

Storms of this magnitude seem to take place once a year, that's Saturn years which are 29 Earth years long, when Saturn is closest to the sun, which warms Saturn's dense atmosphere a bit. The storm is rolling the atmosphere of Saturn so much that a brilliant white spot has appeared.

From the article:
  • The show is so big that it can be visible by telescopes from distant Earth. Five have been observed in the last 130 years. The last occurred in 1990.
For more on this unusual event, check out the Yahoo News article here

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