The image was compiled by space enthusiast Jason Major from raw images captured by Cassini this week on its latest ring-grazing orbit.
Major compiled the image from raw data that was posted to Cassini’s image archive yesterday. “If I see something interesting and it also happens to have been captures in visible-light color channels, I assemble a color version in Photoshop to see what the awesome level is,” Major told Gizmodo over Twitter DM. “That vortex pic was a 10.”
At a talk I attended at the American Geophysical Union’s annual conference in San Francisco last December, Hampton University planetary scientist John Blalock reaffirmed that while Saturn’s north polar vortex is indeed blue, the rest of the hexagon is definitely yellow these days.
“When we look from 2012 to 2016, [the] hexagon is maybe a little brighter, but the interior and especially the doughnut region [at the center] looks brighter,” Blalock said, adding later in the talk that the “brightening is consistent with an increase in the production of photochemical haze products in the upper atmosphere.”
Saturn’s Pole is blue and there’s nothing we can do ..dan der dan der dan dan.
Gortex always has the heads up on this sort of thing. For this I thank him.