New 3-D model could explain the formation of a hexagon storm on Saturn

Another round of the enduring hexagon mystery.
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With its dazzling system of icy rings, Saturn has been a subject of fascination since ancient times, says Phys.org.

Even now the sixth planet from the sun holds many mysteries, partly because its distance away makes direct observation difficult and partly because this gas giant (which is multiple times the size of our planet) has a composition and atmosphere, mostly hydrogen and helium, so unlike that of Earth.

Learning more about it could yield some insights into the creation of the solar system itself.

One of Saturn’s mysteries involves the massive storm in the shape of a hexagon at its north pole.

The six-sided vortex is an atmospheric phenomenon that has been fascinating planetary scientists since its discovery in the 1980s by the American Voyager program, and the subsequent visit in 2006 by the U.S.-European Cassini-Huygens mission.

The storm is about 20,000 miles in diameter and is bordered by bands of winds blowing up to 300 miles per hour. A hurricane like it doesn’t exist on any other known planet or moon.

Two of the many scientists-turned-interplanetary-storm-chasers working to uncover the secrets of this marvel are Jeremy Bloxham, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Geophysics, and research associate Rakesh K. Yadav, who works in Bloxham’s lab in Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

In a recently published paper in PNAS, the researchers began to wrap their heads around how the vortex came to be.

“We see storms on Earth regularly and they are always spiraling, sometimes circular, but never something with hexagon segments or polygons with edges,” Yadav said. “That is really striking and completely unexpected. [The question on Saturn is] how did such a large system form and how can such a large system stay unchanged on this large planet?”

By creating a 3-D simulation model of Saturn’s atmosphere, Yadev and Bloxham believe are they closing in on an answer.

In their paper, the scientists say that the unnatural-looking hurricane occurs when atmospheric flows deep within Saturn create large and small vortices (aka cyclones) that surround a larger horizontal jet stream blowing east near the planet’s north pole that also has a number of storms within it.

The smaller storms interact with the larger system and as a result effectively pinch the eastern jet and confine it to the top of the planet. The pinching process warps the stream into a hexagon.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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October 7, 2020 at 03:45AM

Author: uwe.roland.gross

Don`t worry there is no significant man- made global warming. The global warming scare is not driven by science but driven by politics. Al Gore and the UN are dead wrong on climate fears. The IPCC process is a perversion of science.