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Saturn's Hexagon

Saturn's Hexagon



The Cassini spacecraft circling Saturn takes a look at an odd hexagon-shaped feature at the ringed planet's north pole. NASA released the view above, which yields an infrared take on the Saturnian oddity. The red color indicates heat, which wells up from the warm interior of Saturn, while clouds about 62 miles (100 kilometers) block light to cause the dark silhouette lines. The blue hues are the result of sunlight striking the far edge of Saturn, since the rest of this image was taken during nighttime conditions. Cassini used its visual and infrared mapping spectrometer to capture this view in what is the first complete look of the entire feature and north pole region in a single shot. Scientists have known about Saturn's odd hexagon-like feature for more than two decades, when it turned up in images snapped by NASA's Voyager 1 & 2 probes.

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