Thursday, September 2, 2021

THERE IS FOG IN SATURN AND IT IS THE BIGGEST AND DENEST IN THE ENTIRE SOLAR SYSTEM

 Saturn's north pole is a place where clouds end in an amazing hexagonal pattern.  The exact mechanism of this unusual shape is still unclear, but there are some ideas about it.  Just to make interplanetary weather forecasts even more special, researchers believe the region has the most extensive fog layer system ever observed in the Solar System.  High-resolution images captured by the Cassini mission in 2015 revealed the layers of this strange wave structure around Saturn's north pole.  The spacecraft was in an ideal position to observe this part of the hexagon and was able to study the upper level of the atmosphere, revealing seven layers of fog stacked above the clouds, with each layer between 7 and 18 kilometers. 

 Reported in Nature Communications, the team was able to see small details of one to a kilometer or two, combining Cassini's observations with those from the Hubble Space Telescope.  The team was able to estimate that these fog layers were made up of particles of perhaps some hydrocarbon ice.  The complete fog system is approximately 130 kilometers thick.  Another interesting aspect of this complex mist system is how it was formed.  The team suspects gravity waves are to blame.  The researchers suggest that the differences in density and temperature (well below zero degrees) and the dynamics between the hexagon and the jet that flows around the pole, produce gravitational waves that allow the vertical propagation of the waves themselves, forming the layers of nebulae. detected by the Cassini probe.  (Nature.com)


No comments:

Post a Comment