A false-color image shows the swirling clouds in the storm on the northern pole of Saturn.(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
The international Cassini spacecraft team has revealed a hurricane engulfing Saturn's northern pole in images released on Monday.
1,250 miles across, the startlingly large storm was revealed in first
views of the ringed planet's northern pole as seen by the spacecraft
this fall. The clouds whirl around the planet's northern pole at 330
The planet's northern pole has become visible to
the spacecraft with the arrival of spring, allowing sunlight to reach
the northern half of Saturn. The storm is essentially a cyclone of wind
in the atmosphere of the gas giant. Such storms appear common on gas
giants, most famously the long-lived Great Red Spot on Jupiter.