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Cassini photographed the giant hexagon on Saturn in high resolution.. / December 11, 2009 /

The probe "Cassini» (Cassini) transmitted to Earth pictures of a giant hexagon on Saturn in the visible range and in high resolution. The width of the strange formation of more than two diameters of the Earth. The nature of the hexagon is still not clear. Of the 55 images obtained by the probe was made movie, which you can look at NASA.

Huge hexagon at the north pole of the planet was first discovered by American «Voyager» in the 1980’s. During the Saturnian winter, which lasts 29 years, the pole is not illuminated by the Sun, so studying Saturn vehicles were doing pictures in the infrared. In August 2009, Saturn was the equinox, and the north of the planet began in the spring. Therefore, Cassini was able to capture a hexagon in good quality. The photographs were taken in January 2009 with a height of about 764 thousand kilometers. The spatial resolution of images is about 100 kilometers.

The researchers suggest that the unusual object consists of the vortex air flow, but what laws govern their movement, experts unclear. Analysis of images allowed scientists to obtain new information on the hexagon. For example, they found the waves propagating from the corners — places where streams make the most jinks. In addition, the astronomers were able to discern what the inside of the hexagon is darker outside and consider the «layered» structure of faces.

At the end of last year, scientists published the photographs of a giant vortex, located inside the hexagon. Gases inside rotate at a speed of 530 kilometers per hour. This is about twice as fast as the fastest in Earth’s vortex flows.

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