Friday, February 11, 2005

The Incredible Shrinking Geek

So cool it's hot! Or, uh, so hot it's cool! Or, uh..., anyway.

The Keck 1 telescope atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai'i has discovered a hot vortex - a large-scale weather pattern - at the south pole of Saturn.
It's the first such hot vortex ever discovered in the solar system. ...

This warm polar cap is believed to contain the highest temperatures on Saturn; the scientists did not give a temperature estimate. ...

Polar vortices are found on Earth, Jupiter, Mars and Venus, and are colder than their surroundings. The new images from the Keck Observatory show the first evidence of a polar vortex at much warmer temperatures.
The fact that the polar region is hotter than other areas is the odd part. One possibility raised is that the southern hemisphere of Saturn has been "sitting in the sunlight for about 18 years," according to Glenn Orton of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Because Saturn takes so long to orbit the Sun - nearly 30 Earth years - its seasons are correspondingly longer. But there's a problem:
"If the increased southern temperatures are solely the result of seasonality, then the temperature should increase gradually with increasing latitude, but it doesn't," Orton said. "We see that the temperature increases abruptly by several degrees near 70 degrees south and again at 87 degrees south.

"A really hot thing within a couple degrees of the pole is something I don't understand at all," he said.
What too many non-scientists don't realize is that when something makes you say "I don't understand," that's when the fun begins. Posted by Hello

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');