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  Alliteration hurricane; Saturn's south poleJan 27, 2012 6:24 AM PST | url
Added 1 new A* page:That alliteration was almost all unintentional. >_>
So hey if you're like me, the huge hexagonal storm around Saturn's north pole that I talked about yesterday might have got you wondering what's the planet's south pole is like. Well it's kind of like this:
image by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute (source)
According to the NASA/JPL page about it, that's a 8,000 kilometer (5,000 mile)-wide hurricane, its winds whipping 30 to 75 kilometer (20 to 45 mile)-high walls of clouds--those are "two to five times taller than the clouds of thunderstorms and hurricanes on Earth"--around at "550 kilometers (350 miles) per hour"--nearly twice the speed of the most powerful hurricanes recorded on Earth. You can even see a sorta movie of them (mpg format) on that page, compiled from a sequence of photos by the Cassini probe.
Oh, so just a hurricane 2/3rds of the Earth's diameter? Yep. :o Of course they don't really know what's causing it, and those dark clouds at the bottom of the eye are a mystery--they're about twice as deep into the atmosphere as we can usually see--but it could have something to do with the planet actually being "2 Kelvin (4 degrees Fahrenheit)" warmer at the pole. As some NASA dude put it, "the winds decrease with height, and the atmosphere is sinking, compressing and heating over the South Pole."
Man our planet's poles are pretty boring compared to Saturn's! Until we find the frozen ancient alien astronauts, anyway.
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