CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

The Saturn Storm Chronicles

New Cassini images and mosaics chronicle the birth and evolution of the colossal storm that has ravaged northern Saturn for nearly a year. (Image advisory can be found here.)

Nov 17, 2011: Chronicling Saturn's Northern Storm - This series of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the development of the largest storm seen on the planet since 1990.
Nov 17, 2011: Birth of a Behemoth Storm - The largest storm to ravage Saturn in decades started as a small spot seen in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Dec.
Nov 17, 2011: Eleven Hours Later - These two natural color views taken 11 hours -- one Saturn day -- apart by NASA's Cassini spacecraft help scientists measure wind speeds in the huge storm seen here in the planet's northern hemisphere.
Nov 17, 2011: Nearly True Color Storm Close-Up - The biggest, most long-lasting Saturnian storm seen by either NASA's Cassini and Voyager spacecraft roils the atmosphere of the gas giant in this nearly-true-color mosaic of Cassini images.
Nov 17, 2011: Encircling a Giant - These false-color mosaics from NASA's Cassini spacecraft chronicle the changing appearance of the huge storm that developed from a small spot in Saturn's northern hemisphere.
Nov 17, 2011: Churning Psychedelia - These two false color views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show detailed patterns that change during one Saturn day within the huge storm in the planet's northern hemisphere.
Nov 17, 2011: Kaleidoscopic Rainbows - With kaleidoscopic forms and hues, these two false color views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the patterns that come and go in the course of one Saturn day within the huge storm in the planet's northern hemisphere.
Nov 17, 2011: Storm Head in False Color - The head of Saturn's huge northern storm is well established in this view captured early in the storm's development by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in late 2010.
Nov 17, 2011: Storm Tail in False Color - This false-color mosaic from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the tail of Saturn's huge northern storm.
Nov 17, 2011: Scenic Shock - Saturn's northern storm marches through the planet's atmosphere in the top right of this false-color mosaic from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Alliance Member Comments
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Nov 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM):
Everyone: There is in fact a paper about this storm that a small group of us imaging team members have written. It has just been submitted, and so now we sit and wait for the review process and hopefully publication. We can't yet answer some of your more detailed questions. But know that this discovery and the opportunity it presents will be receiving a lot of attention over the coming months and years. Scientific investigation requires a certain suite of skills and traits, and patience is one of them! In the meantime, thanks much for your appreciation of our work. I really wanted to make this release special, and I'm happy that it has been so well received. Best to all of you!
NeKto (Nov 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM):
I like dholmes requests. i would like to see everything on his list. the weather we experience on this planet, storms are powered in part by the energy of phase change; the release of heat going to liquid or solid from a gas, or the absorption of heat going to the vapor phase. is there any evidence of such prosesses going on in this storm? what chemicals might be "raining" from one elevation to another? (Nov 18, 2011 at 5:44 PM):
Fantastic storms, great photographs. The good is getting better each time!
Keep up your great works!
Scott McVicker (Nov 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM):
Instead of a volcano, I would look to an impact of one small, dark asteroid. Enough to cause the intial roiling - dark enough to have escaped detection prior to impact on the far side of where the orbiter was positioned at that time.
dholmes (Nov 18, 2011 at 12:37 PM):
Are the bright reflecting colored gases indicating highest atmospheric elevation due to reflectance of sunlight? If so the darker gases then must be at a lower elevation in Saturn's atmosphere, and by that reasoning (bad or good) would lead to subduction of the heavier lower gases by the lighter (higher atmospheric elements)gases of Saturn?
dholmes (Nov 18, 2011 at 12:05 PM):
Yes I would like to weigh in also about the need for a spectral legend or graph as well as a convection range (elevation) chart of some sort to better understand the physical processes going on. Thanks.
NeKto (Nov 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM):
another great set of images. i was wondering why we weren't seeing more images of this storm; you folks at CICLOPs have been saving up. Is there any information on the chemisrty, temperature and presure in these storm clouds? i wonder what kind of percipitation there might be, if any. as a surface bound terestrial, i can't help but imagine some sort of rain, sleet or snow howling from that monster storm.
dholmes (Nov 18, 2011 at 10:54 AM):
This is beyond expectations of anything I could imagine. The importance of work like this provides mankind a blueprint for future space travel to our own Solar System and hopefully to the very stars of our own night sky. Good job Carolyn and crew!
Red_dragon (Nov 18, 2011 at 3:36 AM):
+10. Superb stuff as usual. Keep up the good job, CICLOPS!.
edkablukov (Nov 17, 2011 at 6:38 PM):
I think it is may be a volcano.
ml39612 (Nov 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM):

Might not the latitude of those storms, and perhaps those of the southern bands and the Great Red Spot as well, have something to do with the apparent latitude of the Galactic Center as viewed from Saturn?

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