One-eyed monster storm seen on Saturn

By | November 11, 2006

One-eyed monster storm seen on Saturn

It looks like an eerie, polar hurricane, but doesn’t act like one.

A freaky storm two-thirds the diameter of Earth and unlike anything ever seen before has been spotted on Saturn.

The tempest, some 5,000 miles wide (8,000 kilometers), has an oddly human-looking, hurricane-style eye. But it is very different from a terrestrial hurricane, scientists said Thursday.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft photographed the huge storm. It swirls with 350 mph (560 kilometer-per-hour) winds at the ringed planet’s south pole. It has a remarkably well-defined eye, ringed by clouds that soar 20 to 45 miles high (30 to 75 kilometers), or up to five times taller than hurricane clouds on Earth.

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