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Saturn Hot Spot Found By Astronomers

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Images of Saturn captured by astronomers using the Keck I telescope have led to the discovery of a hot spot’ on the planet’s South Pole.

According to CBS News, the captured images “suggest a warm polar vortex a large-scale weather pattern likened to a jet stream on Earth that occurs in the upper atmosphere.”

The images indicate a swirling vortex located just to the right of Saturn’s South Pole. The vortex possesses temperatures not expected in this region, or as CBS describes:

a large-scale weather pattern likened to a jet stream on Earth that occurs in the upper atmosphere. It’s the first such hot vortex ever discovered in the solar system

The warming of the southern hemisphere was expected, as Saturn was just past southern summer solstice, but the abrupt changes in temperature with latitude were not expected. A small section of the ring image is missing because of incomplete mosaic coverage during the observing sequence.

Normally, polar vortexes, like the ones found on Earth, Jupiter, Mars and Venus, are colder than the area they reside above. Saturn’s vortex is the first of its kind that is actually warmer than the pole it’s positioned at.

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Saturn Hot Spot Found By Astronomers
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