Astronomers have detected on Saturn a new type of storms — which is an intermediate between the two others previously known.
Astronomers have known two types of storms in the atmosphere of Saturn’s big and small. The first is the so-called Great white spot, which was so named by analogy with the Great red spot on Jupiter; such storms occur periodically for several months; they can reach a width of thousands of kilometers. The second type of storms is storms much smaller size, there are usually within just a few days.
In the new study, researchers managed to describe the new type of storms on Saturn is intermediate between the two previously known. A new type has been described in four storms, all of which arose and disappeared in 2018 (one of them, the first seen lasted the whole 214 days). The diameter data of the atmospheric education was about four to eight thousand kilometers; all of them were observed near the North pole of Saturn, between 67 and 74 degrees North latitude.
As shown by computer simulations conducted by researchers, each of the observed average storm required about 10 times more energy than a small storm, and at the same time demanded that only approximately one hundredth of the energy required for a Big white spot.
Scientists suggest that the time of occurrence data, medium-sized storms may indicate that they are “failed” Great white spot (perhaps it “failed” because past a Large white spot, 2010, had expended too much energy). The latter was observed only seven times since 1876, and these observations indicate that these storms are formed in the latitudes about once in 60 years. The last time Large white spot at the extreme Northern region, near the latitudes where the average was detected storms were observed in 1960.
Work on the new study were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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