Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Storm Chasing on Saturn: The hexagon-shaped hurricane

Hexagon-shaped storms exist. There is a massive, persistent, hexagon-shaped jet stream on Saturn’s north pole — “the perfect six-sided hurricane, 60 miles deep, that could swallow four Earths…”

The New York TimesStorm Chasing on Saturn describes our first Voyager mission views of the phenomenon in 1981–82, as well as more recent Cassini images, like the NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Hampton University images below.

pia17652-640

How did this unusual hexagonal storm form? How long has it existed? What’s happening in those corners? Lab tests suggest some “how it’s made” answers — “friction with slower-moving atmosphere on either side of the jet stream would create eddies, miniature hurricanes, that would push the jet stream north and south as it went around the planet, resulting in a wave shape” — but the Cassini team is still looking into a huge list of unanswered questions as they prep to observe Saturn during its well-lit summer solstice in 2017.

In the archives, more storms, more hexagons, more auroras, and more Saturn.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft: Flying by Jupiter (2000)

Rion Nakaya

Weather on the Rocky Planets and Gas Giants

Rion Nakaya

Aurora Australis in the polar night sky

Rion Nakaya

Humpback whales swim under the northern lights

Rion Nakaya

The Captured Ice Moon: Voyager 2 and Neptune’s moon Triton

Rion Nakaya

Cassini Burns Into Saturn, a grand finale to a 20 year mission

Rion Nakaya

Juno: Piercing Jupiter’s Clouds

Rion Nakaya

Outer Space: sequences from NASA’s Cassini and Voyager missions

Rion Nakaya

Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Rion Nakaya