Science & Technology

Storm on Saturn


Pictures of the week:

This is bigger than any election on Earth. Indeed, it's practically bigger than Earth, period:

NASA's Cassini spacecraft recently captured these images (taken in visible light [left] and infrared) of a massive hurricane-like storm at Saturn's south pole, the first such phenomenon ever spotted on another planet.

Much like an Earth-bound hurricane, the storm features a well-developed central eye and columns of towering clouds. But this cyclone could not only dwarf any Earthly storm, it could also virtually swallow the Earth itself, measuring a monstrous 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) across.

The cyclone is swirling over the pole at 350 miles (550 kilometers) an hour, whipping up Saturn's ammonia clouds at speeds much higher than the winds inside Jupiter's Great Red Spot.