Unformatted text preview: Great Red Spot of Jupiter.  The straight sides of the northern polar hexagon are each approximately 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long, making them larger than the diameter of the Earth.  The entire structure rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as that of the planet's radio emissions, which is assumed to be equal to the period of rotation of Saturn's interior.  The hexagonal feature does not shift in longitude like the other clouds in the visible atmosphere.  The pattern's origin is a matter of much speculation. Most astronomers believe it was caused by some standing-wave pattern in the atmosphere; but the hexagon might be a novel aurora. Polygonal shapes have been replicated in spinning buckets of fluid in a laboratory....
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- Fall '10
- Astronomy, Cassini, polar hexagonal cloud, hexagonal cloud pattern, hexagonal wave pattern