A prodigious and unrelenting force, spanning 300,000 kilometres across (30 times Earth’s diameter), is raging above Saturn, in what has been labelled “one of the most violent weather events in the solar system”.
Thunder 10,000 times more powerful than the world’s fiercest storms is currently flashing 10 times per second across this vast, gaseous giant in truculent anger.
This hell-like behaviour, which is captivating scientists across the globe, has been the norm on Saturn for the past eight months. Surely such a place would be considered too cruel for the most vile or damned of creatures. The perfect hell.
The storm is so immense it can be seen through a telescope with the naked eye – a distance of approximately 1.5 billion kilometres. However, closer details of the event were made possible through NASA’s scoutcraft Cassini.
Apparently on Saturn, monster storms occur every 29.5 Earth years on average, jolting periods of relative serenity. Such bipolar activity is linked with the summer solstice, when Saturn’s orbit brings it closer to the sun and the atmosphere is warmed slightly.
Known as “the great white spot” due to the mass of clouds that represent the event visually, this particular tempest is 500 times larger than the planet’s previous biggest (known), and is rather premature.
Some have even labelled it ‘mother leviathan’, as it is believed to be transmitting gargantuan amounts of electricity.
In Roman tradition, Saturn ruled over the world of men during The Golden Age, a time when all lived well and none were greedy. The Romans held a great feast called Saturnalia on December 17 in honour of this time.
According to ABC News, the immense storm activity began around this date last year, leading some to speculate that humanity has passed the point of redemption, and Saturn is mourning for a time that once was, while making change anew.
In any case, it’s a very big storm, and the editors at The Fox Gazette wish any creature caught in its shadow the best of luck.