|archmage||Date: Thursday, 28-June-2012, 5:09 AM | Message # 1|
-- dragon lord--
A particularly strong jet stream churns through Saturn's northern hemisphere in this false-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Turbulent jet streams, regions where winds blow faster than in other places, churn east and west across Saturn. Scientists have been trying to understand for years the mechanism that drives these wavy structures in Saturn's atmosphere and the source from which the jets derive their energy.
In a new study appearing in the June edition of the journal Icarus, scientists used images collected over several years by NASA's Cassini spacecraft to discover that the heat from within the planet powers the jet streams. Condensation of water from Saturn's internal heating led to temperature differences in the atmosphere. The temperature differences created eddies, or disturbances that move air back and forth at the same latitude, and those eddies, in turn, accelerated the jet streams like rotating gears driving a conveyor belt.
Full article/source - http://www.nasa.gov/mission....25.html