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Science Forum

  1. Standard member empovsun
    Adepto 'er perfectu
    24 Sep '13 01:46
    this is from NASA's website with pictures of Saturn's North Pole:
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/media/cassini-20070327.html

    strange, isn't it? what do you guys think of the hexagon?
  2. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    24 Sep '13 07:07
    Originally posted by empovsun
    this is from NASA's website with pictures of Saturn's North Pole:
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/media/cassini-20070327.html

    strange, isn't it? what do you guys think of the hexagon?
    It may be an optical illusion.

    The Instructor
  3. Standard member empovsun
    Adepto 'er perfectu
    24 Sep '13 10:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    It may be an optical illusion.

    The Instructor
    could be, so i searched through the saturn pictures and found an infrared version, and it is definitely there:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/gallery/gallery-index.html
    ok, it wont let me direct link it here so go to photo #17 for the image in that gallery
  4. 24 Sep '13 15:07
    Originally posted by empovsun
    what do you guys think of the hexagon?
    Its probably a result of the underlying terrain.
  5. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    24 Sep '13 23:39
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Its probably a result of the underlying terrain.
    Then the question is why is the underlying terrain that shape?

    More likely it's the remains of an alien research centre.
  6. 25 Sep '13 13:20
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Then the question is why is the underlying terrain that shape?

    More likely it's the remains of an alien research centre.
    The underlying terrain is not that shape. The underlying terrain creates that shape in the circular winds above it. What shape the underlying terrain is, I do not know. It may be a standing wave created by a single mountain, or something more complicated. Who here knows how to do fluid dynamics simulations?
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Sep '13 13:33
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The underlying terrain is not that shape. The underlying terrain creates that shape in the circular winds above it. What shape the underlying terrain is, I do not know. It may be a standing wave created by a single mountain, or something more complicated. Who here knows how to do fluid dynamics simulations?
    Any underlying terrain would be thousands of miles below the level we see in the photo's. This is strictly a wind effect, however it is being brought off. Maybe its an alien power converter
  8. 25 Sep '13 16:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Maybe its an alien power converter
    Why so many 'alien' suggestions? Is the intelligent design argument just so hard to resist? Hexagons are found all the time in nature, there is no reason to think this one is not entirely natural.

    Do you have any references regarding the depth of Saturn's atmosphere ie the actual height of those clouds?

    I am now leaning towards a magnetic effect, or electrostatic. Do you know if Saturn has a strong magnetosphere?
  9. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Sep '13 16:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Why so many 'alien' suggestions? Is the intelligent design argument just so hard to resist? Hexagons are found all the time in nature, there is no reason to think this one is not entirely natural.

    Do you have any references regarding the depth of Saturn's atmosphere ie the actual height of those clouds?

    I am now leaning towards a magnetic effect, or electrostatic. Do you know if Saturn has a strong magnetosphere?
    That was supposed to be a joke Saturn does have a strong magnetic field. Still, don't know how magnetics would make for hex shapes. My guess is the tips of each hex is an area where a huge hurricane sits, kind of permanent. It might be that 200 years ago this feature didn't exist and 200 years from now it will also be gone.
  10. 25 Sep '13 18:19
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That was supposed to be a joke
    Yes, I know, but if even a scientist such as yourself first thinks 'intelligent design' when he sees something unusual in nature, its no wonder less educated folks take the argument seriously. I am not saying you are wrong to joke about it though, simply thought it was worth commenting on.

    Still, don't know how magnetics would make for hex shapes.
    I am going with a standing wave from a single source. The winds are rotating furiously around the pole, if there is something deflecting them away, it may create a wave.

    My guess is the tips of each hex is an area where a huge hurricane sits, kind of permanent. It might be that 200 years ago this feature didn't exist and 200 years from now it will also be gone.
    But what keeps six hurricanes stable for 400 years? Similar as yet unknown dynamics to Jupiters red spot?
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Sep '13 18:22
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Yes, I know, but if even a scientist such as yourself first thinks 'intelligent design' when he sees something unusual in nature, its no wonder less educated folks take the argument seriously. I am not saying you are wrong to joke about it though, simply thought it was worth commenting on.

    [b]Still, don't know how magnetics would make for hex shapes.[ ...[text shortened]... keeps six hurricanes stable for 400 years? Similar as yet unknown dynamics to Jupiters red spot?
    The red spot is another mystery, they think it is some kind of 'tornado' more or less permanently in place but with MUCH deeper roots than the run of the mill stuff floating around there. We would have to know a lot more about the innards of Saturn to make an educated guess about that hex pattern, like upwelling of hot stuff from the interior and such.
  12. Standard member empovsun
    Adepto 'er perfectu
    27 Sep '13 14:59
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Its probably a result of the underlying terrain.
    could be, and NASA will admit that they have no idea how this hexagon was formed. apparently, this is the first time they have seen something like this in the cosmos/solar system.

    it is very much unique, and cool to watch
  13. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    28 Sep '13 03:08
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Why so many 'alien' suggestions? Is the intelligent design argument just so hard to resist? Hexagons are found all the time in nature, there is no reason to think this one is not entirely natural.

    Do you have any references regarding the depth of Saturn's atmosphere ie the actual height of those clouds?

    I am now leaning towards a magnetic effect, or electrostatic. Do you know if Saturn has a strong magnetosphere?
    I was joking about the aliens.
    Giant bees maybe ...............
  14. 30 Sep '13 20:20
    Hexagonal patterns like that arise naturally in rotating systems.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/09/17/saturn_photos_hexagonal_weather_and_a_ring_light_surge.html

    You guys should read bad astronomy more.
  15. 30 Sep '13 21:30
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Hexagonal patterns like that arise naturally in rotating systems.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/09/17/saturn_photos_hexagonal_weather_and_a_ring_light_surge.html

    You guys should read bad astronomy more.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fudge

    That was the top result.