CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Stormy North

The weather forecast for Saturn's north pole: storms. Lots and lots of storms. Here, the area around north polar hexagon is entirely filled with storms of many sizes.

The north polar hexagon was first observed by Voyager. To see more of the hexagon, see PIA10486 and PIA11682.

This view is centered on Saturn's north pole. North is up and rotated 33 degrees to the left. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 14, 2013 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 45 degrees. Image scale is 26 miles (42 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: August 5, 2013 (PIA 17122)
Image/Caption Information
  Stormy North
PIA 17122

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Alliance Member Comments
Pyroaniah (Oct 31, 2013 at 0:22 AM):
I have 2 questions. If the cymatic shape on a flat plane corresponds to 3 (+time) dimensional propagation of waves, and the hexagonal shape suggests a toroidally shaped dark energy vortex, than the vortex itself is rather a multidimensional gate or just an antenna?
Where is it pointed at or ends in our realm and on the other side?
Cassiopeian (Aug 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM):
Dumb comments on Youtube are rarely amusing but this one made me smile : " The ancient inhabitants of Saturn built a hexagonal wall, long ago , to keep the vortex locked to the pole , so as to stop it from destroying their cities ."
NeKto (Aug 9, 2013 at 11:16 PM):
are there any hypotheses about why the hexagon remains hexagonal that hold any water?
every time i see images i wonder what the heck is going on up there.