Scientists speculate massive storm on Saturn could be a volcanic eruption

November 19, 2011NASA released fresh imagery Thursday of a mega-storm that encircled Saturn for more than six months earlier this year, becoming the longest-lived weather system ever observed on the ringed planet. The Cassini spacecraft circling Saturn also became the first probe to ever observe such a large storm from nearby. Previous system were studied from telescopes on or near Earth. The storm emerged Dec. 5, 2010, and stretched around the planet by the end of January, according to NASA. Its north-south width eventually reached 9,000 miles. Cassini’s radio and plasma wave instrument also detected lightning from the storm, confirming it was a “convective” weather system, NASA said. “The Saturn storm is more like a volcano than a terrestrial weather system,” said Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “The pressure builds up for many years before the storm erupts. The mystery is that there’s no rock to resist the pressure – to delay the eruption for so many years.” The storm fizzled in June, but its clouds are still present in Saturn’s hydrogen-helium atmosphere today. At its peak, it covered about 2 billion square kilometers, researchers said. “This new storm is a completely different kind of beast compared to anything we saw on Saturn previously with Cassini,” said Kunio Sayanagi, a Cassini imaging team associate and planetary scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The fact that such outbursts are episodic and keep happening on Saturn every 20 to 30 years or so is telling us something about deep inside the planet, but we have yet to figure out what it is.” Scientists are examining data preceding the storm’s appearance to determine what may have triggered its development. –Space Flight Now
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12 Responses to Scientists speculate massive storm on Saturn could be a volcanic eruption

  1. Tim says:

    Alvin,

    Do you think the cause is due to our solar system traveling through an interstellar energy cloud discovered by Voyagers 1 and 2? We have witnessed so many similar events here on Earth, our sun and the other planets in our solar system; and they all are intensifying and materializing exponentially.

    ~ Luke 21:25

    Maranatha

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  2. Ricky B says:

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but If i’m not mistaken, I thought Saturn was a “gas planet”. How can a volcano erupt on Saturn without there being land to speak of?

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    • You’re not mistaken. Hence the mystery of what could even pressurize the magma or force if there is no rocky terrestial crust. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this mystery.

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    • nickk0 says:

      Ricky and others –

      Based upon what I have read, Jupiter and Saturn (and Uranus and Neptune as well), are actually ‘LIQUID gas giants’, with a ‘rocky’ or solid core.

      Because of their Massive size, the pressures ( and density ) associated with these liquid gas giants, is enormous.

      The ‘dynamics’ involved, to cause ‘volcanic activity’ on such a liquid gas giant, would be completely different, than anything we have observed on the earth and similar ‘rocky’ planets.. The dynamics would be like something out of science fiction, except that it would be otherworldly and strange.

      – Nick

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  3. callyrox says:

    What about an Explosion? If Saturn is made of hydrogen-helium That means that it would have Flammable Materials right? Meaning that as a Planet, it would be Highly Likely that an Explosion of some sort was/is Imminent, All it needs is a spark… And Look at the Solar Activity we are Experiencing with out Star,,, Could it be that this Massive Gas Giant is Igniting/Ignited… I mean, Technically a volcano cannot Exist where their is no Rock or Surface, But then again all we can say is “Who knows” This isn’t earth we are talking about.. This is Highly Unfamiliar Territory , For both the General Public And NASA :\??

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  4. Andrew says:

    Hydrogen and Helium suggest starlike activity at Saturn’s core, can a Gas giant planet also be a Brown Dwarf star?

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  5. callyrox says:

    Ok, “Hydrogen and Helium suggest starlike activity at Saturn’s core, can a Gas giant planet also be a Brown Dwarf star?” If it were to be a star it would Defiantly fall under the Category of a Brown dwarf, But then again What is the Ring around Saturn? Its made from Heaps of small particles, ranging in size from micrometers to meters, that form clumps that Orbit Saturn, it’s funny though because that is the most Unique Planetary ring in our Solar system, But if these Clumps of Small Particles are orbiting Saturn, then that’s a whole different story, That sounds more like a White dwarf, That is in A Dormant state….. Defiantly worth researching Andrew, because it sure as hell is not a Volcano that is going crazy on her.

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  6. steve says:

    Explosions require O2 to burn

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  7. Mike says:

    Saturn and Jupiter ARE NOT GAS PLANETS. That is one of the biggest lie in Science. They have surfaces, that is why when asteroids hit them, asteroids explode instead of passing through. That is why they have clouds and GRAVITY!!!

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