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New Lightning Pattern Found on Saturn

http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/techscien...,265745,00.html

According to this, so far, lightning has been seen on a sporadic basis, and things have calmed quite a bit since the Voyager probes passed the gas giant 20 years ago. It could very well be a seasonal change.

I'm still wondering when they plan to take pictures of Saturn's night side to see any lightning flashes in the clouds.

Also-I wonder how big thunderheads grow there...

:?
 
"It could very well be a seasonal change. "

What the article didn't mention was that in the 80's the shadows from the rings were near the equator, now they are near one of the poles so the sun is fairly uniform at the center of the planet.

"I'm still wondering when they plan to take pictures of Saturn's night side to see any lightning flashes in the clouds."

I can't imagine still shots at random getting enough lightning from the distance they are at.

- Rob
 
"It could very well be a seasonal change. "

What the article didn't mention was that in the 80's the shadows from the rings were near the equator, now they are near one of the poles so the sun is fairly uniform at the center of the planet.

"I'm still wondering when they plan to take pictures of Saturn's night side to see any lightning flashes in the clouds."

I can't imagine still shots at random getting enough lightning from the distance they are at.

- Rob

Well, the Galileo spacecraft was able to take quite a few pictures of lightning on Jupiter's night side. Take a look at the photos here:

http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/captions/j...piter/light.htm

And there's plenty more photos out there. I'm sure that Cassini will be in a suitable position to take similar pictures when the time comes. 8)

As I've said in an earlier post, I am hoping to see those massive eruptions of white cloud at Saturn's equator that were observed from telescopes. I'm wondering if they are massive thunderstorm complexes. They stretched thousands of miles . :shock:
 
I know we could never stand on one of those planets without extra-terrestrial protective equipment, but wouldn't it be so cool to be able to see something like that first-hand?

Watching something like that seems like it would be so awesome!!
 
I know we could never stand on one of those planets without extra-terrestrial protective equipment, but wouldn't it be so cool to be able to see something like that first-hand?

Watching something like that seems like it would be so awesome!!

LOL, you can't stand on planets like Jupiter and Saturn. :D They are essentially balls of liquid hydrogen. Thousands of miles below the cloud tops, each planet has a scalding global ocean of liquid hydrogen that is thousands of degrees. This ocean basically makes up most of each planet. And the pressure at the surface of this ocean-assuming there is a sharp transition from atmopshere to ocean-must be close to 90,000 earth atmospheres.

Basically, humans and whatever spacecraft they had would be vaporized in the heat before they reached this ocean. When the Galileo probe was dropped into Jupiter, it was equipped with a titanium shell. Titanium melts at 3,100 degrees Fahenheit. It's final transmission was 175 miles down: the temperature was 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air pressure was 22 earth atmopsheres. The titanium shell most likely vaporized.

It might be several centuries, or even a millenia before we could design a probe to access the part where the liquid hydrogen ocean begins on both Jupiter and Saturn.

As for being able to fly in the vicinity of Jovian and Saturnian thunderstorms, that has its own dangers. Jupiter's thunderstorms grow to 50 miles in height, and up to 2,500 miles wide. Lightning on Jupiter is 1,000 times stronger than Earth's. Saturn's winds can reach 1,000 miles an hour. That means the winds are supersonic. We don't know enough yet about how powerful Saturn's thunderstorms are, but I venture that they may be as violent-if not more so-than Jupiter's. I've even thought about super-tornadoes on each planet, which would make the Earth's F5 twisters seem like a tame dust devil by comparison.

The trick would be to create some probe that could surf the winds, which would be equipped with a camera to take pictures of the thunderstorms. How long such a probe would last is an interesting question. It all depends on the dyanimcs of the atmosphere at the time, and there is also the risk of the probe getting hit by lightning.
 
Yeah, my thoughts exactly hehehehhehe :lol:

I was just joking, Saul, I should have put up a smiley or a hehe note.

I forget these things sometimes, as my general character is to poke fun, and I forget that people on internet can't see me, and generally don't know me that well.

I promise to fully attempt to make sure that I always have a smiley there when I'm trying to make funnies.


Not joking:

I know we would never be able to stand there, but to be able to SEE that first hand would just be the most awesome thing I could ever imagine looking at. It makes me wish that we had that kind of capability that none of us would see in our own lifetimes. I can't even imagine how beautiful it must be. Speaking of beautiful sites, I believe there's supposed to be a meteor shower tonight.
 
Yeah, my thoughts exactly hehehehhehe :lol:

I was just joking, Saul, I should have put up a smiley or a hehe note.

I forget these things sometimes, as my general character is to poke fun, and I forget that people on internet can't see me, and generally don't know me that well.

I promise to fully attempt to make sure that I always have a smiley there when I'm trying to make funnies.


Not joking:

I know we would never be able to stand there, but to be able to SEE that first hand would just be the most awesome thing I could ever imagine looking at. It makes me wish that we had that kind of capability that none of us would see in our own lifetimes. I can't even imagine how beautiful it must be. Speaking of beautiful sites, I believe there's supposed to be a meteor shower tonight.

I wrote an SF story about storm chasing on Jupiter, called REALM FORBIDDEN. You can read it here:

http://users.erols.com/strabal/creations.html

Let me know what you think. 8)
 
Jupiter had been marked off-limits by nature. But man, in his arrogance, decided to bypass the warnings, and take his chances.

I'm still reading it - sounds pretty darn good so far;)
 
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