Hurricane watch on Saturn: North Pole cyclone eye is 2,000 km wide
Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
Published Monday, April 29, 2013 6:03PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:43AM EDT
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn's North Pole.
The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 2,010 kilometres across. That's 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. And it's spinning super-fast. Clouds at the outer edge of the storm are whipping around at 531 kph.
The hurricane is parked at Saturn's North Pole and relies on water vapour to keep it churning. It's believed to have been there for years. Cassini only recently had a chance to observe the vortex in visible light.
Scientists hope to learn more about Earth's hurricanes by studying this whopper at Saturn.
Cassini was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004.