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Saturn, Not Earth Or Jupiter, Has The Largest Storms In Our Solar System

26 Aug 2019, 14:01 UTC
Saturn, Not Earth Or Jupiter, Has The Largest Storms In Our Solar System
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In 2011, a Saturnian storm developed that wound up encircling the entire planet. Although this storm has been observed to recur once every 20–30 years since the late 1800s, the 2011 event is the largest storm in the recorded history of the Solar System. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been around for longer, but Saturn’s periodic storms are far larger.On Earth, hurricanes can span hundreds of kilometers, wreaking devastation whenever landfall occurs.In 2007, Hurricane Felix became one of the most powerful category 5 hurricanes ever measured on Earth, reaching sustained wind speeds of 165 miles per hour (265 kph) and with gusts that achieved even greater speeds. But other planets consist of storms that are larger than the entirety of planet Earth. (NASA)But on the Solar System’s giant planets, storms can far surpass anything seen throughout Earth’s history.This assigned-color image of Saturn’s north pole highlights the hexagonal region and the central hurricane located within it. The hurricane itself is nearly 2,000 kilometers wide. (NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SSI)Atop Saturn’s north pole lies a hurricane centered inside a hexagonal-shaped vortex.A false-color animation of Saturn’s hexagon from about 70 individual frames stitched together. This polar vortex is approximately 11 times larger than the central ...

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