Cassini has been circling Saturn for years, but it’s still revealing spectacular things about the planet. Violent weather provides a great spectacle on Earth, as long as it doesn’t actually destroy anything, but it’s nothing compared with what’s happening on Saturn.
Every once in a while, a giant storm starts circling the planet, lasting for months or years and wreaking havoc on the planet’s entire atmosphere.
When one these massive storms started in 2010, Cassini was there to study it. At its peak, the head of the storm reached 7,000 kilometers across.
The results of the study were published in the Nature journal recently. The scientists analyzing the data concluded that the storm was an anticyclone and that it could only have formed in a relatively narrow area of the planet.
The researchers also believe that the storm was powered by hot gases from below rising up and creating turbulence.