Saturn’s Hidden Turbulence Revealed

Peering deeply into Saturn’s placid-looking atmosphere with the radar/microwave radiometer aboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has revealed a dynamic and in many places turbulent atmosphere that has more similarities with that of its sibling planet Jupiter than previously realized.

The new observations reveal a calm and narrow equatorial belt surrounded by stormy bands like those on Jupiter, although regions at higher latitudes show a different character that is unique to Saturn.

The newly created global microwave maps of Saturn reveal in unprecedented detail a largely stable atmospheric environment with some unexpected variety, including arid, desert-like patches in Saturn’s atmosphere, and regions where humid tropical climes dominate.

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