Saturn burps: Cassini spacecraft captures record-setting event
Saturn burped and the Cassini spacecraft was on hand to witness it.
The spacecraft, orbiting Saturn, has gathered data on a two-year-long storm that wrapped all the way around the planet -- followed by a record-setting 150-degree temperature spike and a massive burp of ethylene gas.
It was a mega-belch of energy, according to NASA -- “100 times more ethylene than scientists thought possible for Saturn.”
PHOTOS: Awesome images from space
Simultaneously, the temperature at the site of the release shot up to minus 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
The study’s lead author, Brigette Hesman, a scientist at the University of Maryland, said, “To get a temperature change of the same scale on Earth, you’d be going from the depths of winter in Fairbanks, Alaska, to the height of summer in the Mojave Desert.”
Scientists from NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will report on the unprecedented belch in a paper in the Nov. 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
Nation Now will have more later today about this surprising storm on Saturn and its aftermath.
Texas debuts fastest speed limit in the nation: 85 mph
Harpo the English bulldog puppy is dognapped at gunpoint
Frost on Mars? Curiosity uses its laser to probe Martian mystery
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get the day's top news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.