NASA’s Cassini reveals mysterious color change of Saturn’s north
Scientists have indicated that change in weather pattern may be one of the reasons behind this but they are still investing the root cause of this color change.
New Delhi: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft orbiting the Saturn have watches a dramatic change in color of the hexagonal north pole of the planet. The pictures were captured in between the time period of four years – 2012 and 2016 that reveals the striking change in color of the north pole.
Scientists have indicated that change in weather pattern may be one of the reasons behind this but they are still investing the root cause of this color change. In the images it is clearly visible how the Saturn’s hexagonal north with a bluish tinge has changed in golden color within a time frame of four years.
In particular, 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, according to NASA.
As per NASA researchers the hexagon, which is a six-sided jetstream, might act as a barrier that prevents haze particles produced outside it from entering. During the seven-year-long Saturnian winter, the polar atmosphere became clear of aerosols produced by photochemical reactions -- reactions involving sunlight and the atmosphere. Since the planet experienced equinox in August 2009, the polar atmosphere has been basking in continuous sunshine, and aerosols are being produced inside of the hexagon, around the north pole, making the polar atmosphere appear hazy today.
Some of the other potential effects, including changes in atmospheric circulation, could also be playing a role. Scientists think seasonally shifting patterns of solar heating probably influence the winds in the polar regions.