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Monday, November 5, 2012

Lord of ethylene storm

Megashtorma force on Saturn enough to pulverize the Earth

In 2010, astronomers have marked the beginning of a massive vortex of Saturn, which is a tight ring surrounded the planet. He was the largest of the stratospheric vortex ever discovered in the solar system.

New data on megashtorma NASA spacecraft Cassini (Cassini", planetary probes, launched in 1997, and since 2004 has been working in the Saturn system. - Note. Ed.), Obtained from the composite infrared spectrometer of the probe, shook the scientific community of the eastern coast America. The scale of the weather in this "ringed" cosmic giants were more intense and destructive than previously assumed planetary scientists. Vortices, which covered Saturn, high were 180 thousand kilometers. But most astronomers hit data on temperature accompanied by bad weather - the difference in this maelstrom of up to 150 F (65 o C). About the same as if a few seconds to move Alaska to the Sahara. Scientists estimate that such a storm on Saturn is once a year or once in thirty Earth years.

Here is a brief guide to the most grandiose storm in the solar system.


He is truly amazing. To get a better idea of ​​how much it is - 180 thousand km, is to compare this figure with the diameter of the Earth, which is only 7,926 km.

First seen two years ago by amateur astronomers as a distinct white spot in the northern hemisphere of Saturn storm grew so rapidly that within a few weeks developed into Earth. Three months later, he fully grasped Saturn ring by strong atmospheric winds.

This giant weather anomaly was accompanied by leaps and temperature changes, empty out tons of energy. By mid-2011 superstorm began to retreat. However, before we come to nothing, it is "pleased" scientists another natural disaster.

Surprise vortex

Inside a giant storm - a dense, swirling, powerful vortex - the temperature soared to 150 on F above normal. As they note, the change is so great, even for "space" scale that initially he did not believe all planetary scientists. To get the change in temperature at the same scale in the world, would have to "run" in the dead of winter Alaska in mid-summer in the Mojave Desert.

However, a mistake to think that as a result of this tightening Saturn inflame - the temperature was still cold (-238 o F). But it is much warmer than usual about -364.

Abundance of ethylene

The storm, which was the biggest storm since at least 1903, was accompanied not only changes in temperature, but the "explosion" of ethylene. This colorless gas, odorless, usually only a small proportion of its atmosphere (the atmosphere of Saturn is 96% composed of hydrogen, about 3% - of helium and 1% are methane, ammonia and other gases. - Note. Ed. ). However, the volume of ethylene, which, according to scientists, accompanied by a storm, were 100 times greater than normal. The cause of this anomaly and its relationship with the intensity of storms on Saturn, scientists plan to find in further studies.

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