photo: NASA

On the territory of the hexagon can be placed nearly four earth balls.

Researchers from Harvard University under the guidance of Rakesh Yadav , to understand the causes of the emergence of a giant hexagon in the atmosphere of Saturn. The mysterious formation on the North pole of the planet was first discovered in the early 80-ies the spacecraft Voyager, and since then scientists are trying to explain the phenomenon. Hexagon is huge: it has about 25,000 kilometers in diameter, on its territory can accommodate nearly four earth balls.

In an article in the journal PNAS, which read “Газета.Ru” scientists have described a three-dimensional model of the atmosphere, which they tested in laboratory conditions. The analysis showed that the vortex, forming a hexagon, extends deep into the atmosphere for thousands of kilometers.

The model showed that in the outer atmosphere of the giant planet should form a latitudinal currents that change direction and resemble those that are observed in reality on the planet. Thus in high latitudes, are formed by the polar and high-latitude cyclones over from West to East.

“Analysis of the simulation showed that the self-organizing turbulence in the form of giant vortices limits the current from the East, forming a hexagonal shape,” wrote the researchers. – We argue that a similar mechanism is responsible for the amazing hexagonal pattern on Saturn”.