Saturn Storm Captured By Spacecraft: Stunning Images Show Storm Eight Times The Size Of Earth (PHOTOS)
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This storm on Saturn is bigger than you can possibly imagine.
According to NASA, it's actually eight times the surface area of Earth. It is the biggest storm ever observed on the planet, and is at least 500 times bigger than any other storm observed by the Cassini spacecraft that orbits the ringed planet.
It seems the beast of a storm is as destructive as it is large.
The storm is about 500 times larger than the biggest storm previously seen by Cassini during several months from 2009 to 2010. Scientists studied the sounds of the new storm's lightning strikes and analyzed images taken between December 2010 and February 2011. Data from Cassini's radio and plasma wave science instrument showed the lightning flash rate as much as 10 times more frequent than during other storms monitored since Cassini's arrival to Saturn in 2004. The data appear in a paper published this week in the journal Nature.
Scientists are excited by the storm because it provides further insight into the weather patterns of the planet. Apparently this occurrence shows just how much the change of seasons can affect the planet's major weather.
Scroll down for stunning images from NASA.
The Storm (via NASA):
As the storm moves (via NASA):
False-color images showing intensity (via NASA):