NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists with the first close-up, visible-light views of a behemoth hurricane swirling around Saturn’s north pole.
The eye of the storm measures approximately 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) wide – 20 times larger than the average hurricane eye on Earth. Thin, bright clouds at the outer edge of the hurricane are traveling 330 mph(150 meters per second). The hurricane swirls inside a large, mysterious, six-sided weather pattern known as the hexagon.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Forget old concepts of The Space Race; modern space exploration represents an essential exercise in economic and technological co-operation.