Spikes on Saturn
The beautiful, swirling band stretching around Saturn's northern hemisphere in this false-color image is a storm that raged from 2010 to 2011. NASA's Cassini spacecraft monitored the action in the jovian planet's atmosphere, sending back interesting and sometimes bizarre data back to scientists on Earth. Some of the strangest data was after the storm seemed to have abated, and then suddenly a huge disturbance in the upper atmosphere sent temperatures soaring 150 degrees Fahrenheit, letting out a burst of ethylene -- a gas not normally seen on Saturn. Though the process that caused the "burp" is still a bit of a mystery, NASA Goddard scientists are continuing to study Cassini's data, publishing the events in the November 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute