Saturn North Pole Changing Color, Scientists Baffled

Scientists over at NASA were baffled to find that Saturn North Pole has change color from blue to bright gold. The change was recently observed when the probe Cassini orbiting the planet sent the agency images of Saturn's atmosphere in September 2015. 

For years we have studied our distant celestial neighbors. But with all of our latest equipment and advancement in technology all we have done is scratch the surface. For now, observation is our best bet to better our understanding of the other proximal planets in our solar system. Saturn, for instance, has been monitored by NASA and have taken images of the sixth planet's atmosphere.

Saturn North Pole Changed Color From Blue To Bright Gold

In 2012, the Cassini spacecraft took images of Saturn's north polar hexagon, a six-sided vortex that took the shade of blue. However, recent photograph by the spacecraft indicated that it has now changed color to bright gold, reported Good. The recent images were taken sometime around September and were released to the public last week, while the past photographs were captured in November 2012.

Since the discovery, scientists over at NASA are figuring out this change. While they haven't released a full explanation regarding the strange phenomenon, initial reports say that the alteration seems to be related to the concentration of haze particles inside the hexagon after the planet's long winter night ended. Odd as it is, this isn't the first strange event that has been observed in Saturn, said Gizmodo.

Saturn Angling Towards The Sun Responsible For Saturn North Pole Changing Color

From November 1995 to 2009 scientists saw that the sixth planet's north pole grew increasingly dark. Experts explained that this was a result of less sunlight reaching Saturn to react with the atmosphere's molecular elements. And because the 100-kilometer-deep hexagon is acting as a blockade for particles, aerosols - responsible for changing Earth's reflectivity - weren't able to permeate the barrier. Kunio Sayanagi of the Cassini Imaging Team described the outcome in 2013 as looking like our planet's "Antarctic ozone hole."

In 2009, however, the Saturn has been slowly angling back towards the sun again and experts believed that this started a new haze production in the planet's atmosphere. "The change from a bluish color to a more golden hue may be due to the increased production of photochemical hazes in the atmosphere as the north pole approaches summer solstice in May 2017," said NASA. This changes gave scientists data regarding Saturn's seasonal cycle and will provide further information in figuring out how the climate behave in the planet. All of this is thanks to the probe Cassini and the team behind the space mission, which is set to end in September 2017.


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