Saturn’s hexagon

Isn’t this gorgeous?

Its not new; BA blogged it last year, from Emily Lakdawalla, but I didn’t notice. I forget why I noticed now. Its all fluid-dynamicsy of course; and it (or something very similar) can be recreated in the lab. There’s another very nice image here.

I think its gorgeous partly because you don’t expect hexagons. And note that this isn’t the same sort of hexagon that you get from packed convective cells; that’s a geometrical thing, and occurs because squishing circles together makes hexagons.


* I ran to Ely


  1. #1 BBD

    Yes, it is gorgeous. And humbling to be able to see such things. Mind you, I get all misty over bits of clay on Mars, so this is almost too much to bear.

    I’m afraid the “recreated in the lab” link didn’t work, at least not for me.

    [Apologies; lab link fixed. “href” works so much better than “herf” -W]

  2. #2 David B. Benson


  3. #4 bigcitylib

    There’s a color shot that’s prettier, but I can’t find it right now.

  4. #6 tim B

    The bees are doing you in.

  5. #7 intrepid_wanders

    It seems your Oxford chaps have a good replication:

    As WC noted, it is just fluid-dynamics based for any turbulence would disrupt the R-B convection cells. It is still fascinating, never the less.

  6. #8 afeman

    Fluid-dynamicsy hobbitses!

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