It has been discovered that minor weather conditions such as thunderstorms can lead to such spinoff situations as huge cyclones on the surface of Saturn. This may be due to the butterfly effect.
It’s been more than ten years or so since scientists have peered into the depths of space and found key locations of lots of activity on Saturn’s polar regions. Seven years ago, NASA’s Cassini probe sent back images of these tender spots which flare up atmospherically.
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They turned out to be huge cyclones that were as large in their expanse as the earth’s equator. Winds that rage at velocities of up to 300 miles per hour are common at the planet’s surface too. And they have supposedly been active since many years.
Although the earth has its large bodies of water that fuel the cyclones occurring on its surface, there is no such medium on the surface of Saturn. The obvious question that arises than is what could be causing these cyclones on the beautiful planet with rings surrounding it.
Scientists at MIT have proposed a reason for the cyclones of Saturn in a study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday. Small thunderstorms may pick up speed and converge at the poles where a maelstrom may get created.
A computer simulated model of Saturn’s atmospheric conditions was constructed from scratch by these worthy researchers. The result was that the weather conditions were predicted with a high degree of accuracy.
The butterfly effect was noted which contributed to the build-up of forces until several small thunderstorms gathered enough leverage to trigger a massive cyclone at the polar regions. The size of a heavenly body in comparison to the thunderstorm it hosted spelt out the capacity for cyclones. And the energy conditions in the atmosphere mattered too.
Thus Neptune probably had many cyclones according to this theory while Jupiter had little if any such activity. With the passage of time, planets outside our own solar system will lend themselves to atmospheric analysis.
The method devised works and that is all that matters. A cyclone in polar conditions was an unheard of hypothesis before the latest discovery. Thanks to the Cassini observations fresh evidence has been uncovered in pictorial form.
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The fact that Saturn has no water on it and yet has cyclones on its poles is the one riddle that remains unsolved. Beta drift is the only explanation given by scientists at present for this phenomenon.