So, is Saturn suffering from global warming, too?

May 21, 2011

Need an umbrella?

Among the many hypothetical, not-borne-out-by-facts claims made by global warming cultists is that, as the carbon dioxide we’re spewing into the atmosphere causes the temperature to rise (which it isn’t), the Earth will see larger and more violent storms. (Ooops…)

So, does this mean normally placid Saturn is experiencing global warming? Probably not, but it’s still a mighty impressive storm:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and a European Southern Observatory ground-based telescope are tracking the growth of a giant early-spring storm in Saturn’s northern hemisphere so powerful that it stretches around the entire planet. The rare storm has been wreaking havoc for months and shooting plumes of gas high into the planet’s atmosphere.

“Nothing on Earth comes close to this powerful storm,” says Leigh Fletcher, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and lead author of a study that appeared in this week’s edition of Science Magazine. “A storm like this is rare. This is only the sixth one to be recorded since 1876, and the last was way back in 1990.”

Cassini’s radio and plasma wave science instrument first detected the large disturbance in December 2010, and amateur astronomers have been watching it ever since through backyard telescopes.  As it rapidly expanded, the storm’s core developed into a giant, powerful thunderstorm, producing a 3,000-mile-wide (5,000-kilometer-wide) dark vortex possibly similar to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

To give you some perspective, that storm is bigger than the entire Earth (1).

Events like this remind us of how wondrous and awesome (in the literal sense of the words) the universe beyond our little floating rock truly is.

(1) Be honest, Gaea cultists; deep inside, in your heart-of-green-hearts, you’d be thrilled if something like this happened here to punish Man for his treason against the Earth.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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