(an place page of
(alternative access at
2013 and 2017: hexagon color changes
|"Saturn's hexagon Saturn's hexagon is a persisting hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet Saturn, located at about 78°N. The sides of the hexagon are about 14,500 km (9,000 mi) long, which is more than the diameter of Earth (about 12,700 km (7,900 mi)). The hexagon may be a bit greater than 29,000 km (18,000 mi) wide, may be 300 km (190 mi) high, and may be a jet stream made of atmospheric gases moving at 320 km/h (200 mph). It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn's radio emissions from its interior. The hexagon does not shift in longitude like other clouds in the visible atmosphere."||
"South pole vortex|
HST imaging of the south polar region indicates the presence of a jet stream, but no strong polar vortex nor any hexagonal standing wave. NASA reported in November 2006 that Cassini had observed a 'hurricane-like' storm locked to the south pole that had a clearly defined eyewall. Eyewall clouds had not previously been seen on any planet other than Earth. For example, images from the Galileo spacecraft did not show an eyewall in the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.
Cassini observed a series of cloud features nicknamed 'String of Pearls' found in northern latitudes. These features are cloud clearings that reside in deeper cloud layers."
|"The magnetosphere of Saturn is the cavity created in the flow of the solar wind by the planet's internally generated magnetic field. Discovered in 1979 by the Pioneer 11 spacecraft, Saturn's magnetosphere is the second largest of any planet in the Solar System after Jupiter. The magnetopause, the boundary between Saturn's magnetosphere and the solar wind, is located at a distance of about 20 Saturn radii from the planet's center, while its magnetotail stretches hundreds of Saturn radii behind it."||
Rings of Saturn
"Saturn is probably best known for the system of planetary rings that makes it visually unique. The rings extend from 6,630 to 120,700 kilometers (4,120 to 75,000 mi) outward from Saturn's equator and average approximately 20 meters (66 ft) in thickness. They are composed predominantly of water ice with trace amounts of tholin impurities, and a peppered coating of approximately 7% amorphous carbon. The particles that make up the rings range in size from specks of dust up to 10 m. While the other gas giants also have ring systems, Saturn's is the largest and most visible."
|82 Moons of Saturn|
Titan globe, a mosaic of
|Moons of Saturn|
If you have any questions about this web site,
please contact our webmaster: Edward M. Stadick