A rare storm caught on Saturn
The Cassini spacecraft recorded the aftermath of a huge storm on Saturn that let out an “unprecedented belch of energy,” says NASA.
According to CNN, the size of the storm was unusual and the storm was made out of ethylene gas, which is an odorless, colorless gas that is very rare on Saturn, says NASA.
Brigette Hesman, who is the lead author of the study and works at Goddard said, “This temperature spike is so extreme it’s almost unbelievable. To get a temperature change of the same scale on Earth, you’d be going from the depths of winter in Fairbanks, Alaska, to the height of summer in the Mojave Desert.”
According to Yahoo, the storm was first detected in December 2010. The storm sent temperatures as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
“We’ve really never been able to see ethylene on Saturn before, so this was a complete surprise,” said Michael Flasar, who also works for Goddard.
The storm was on the planets Great White Spots, which pop up about every 30 years. The latest one was about 9,000 miles from north to south.
This storm was also the longest living storm observed on Saturn according to scientists.
Scott Edgington, a Cassini deputy project manager working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said, “These studies will give us new insight into some of the photochemical processes at work in the stratospheres of Saturn, other giants in our solar system, and beyond.”