Dragon Storm (astronomy)
Dragon Storm is located in Saturn's Southern hemisphere, which is labeled as the "Storm Alley" region. The storm can have a range of 2,000 miles (3,200 km) and more. The Dragon Storm is a dramatic giant thunderstorm that can be compared to the electric thunderstorms on Earth. It acquires its energy in the deep layers of Saturn's atmosphere. The storms produce radio waves that reflect during its burst of short static which helped Cassini detect it.
Dragon Storm (named in September 2004 for its unusual shape) is a large, bright and complex convective storm in Saturn's southern hemisphere. It appears to be long-lived and periodically flares up to produce dramatic white cloudy plumes that then subside. This is similar to the extreme conditions on Jupiter at the site of its Great Red Spot, an anticyclonic storm that has been continuously observed since 1830. This storm is a strong source of radio emissions, which are interpreted by Cassini scientists as electric events like lightning on Earth.
Cassini detected a burst when the storm started rising over the horizon during the night time of the planet. The burst came to a stop when it hit the sunlight. During the night time of the planet, the storm starts; as soon as it hits the sunlit part, it completely stops. This pattern repeats, seeming to go on and off for a few weeks as Saturn rotates.
- NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day: Saturn's Dragon Storm (25 February 2005)
- NASA article on Dragon Storm
- Fischer, Georg; Gurnett, Donald A.; Kurth, William S.; Akalin, Ferzan; Zarka, Philippe; Dyudina, Ulyana A.; Farrell, William M.; Kaiser, Michael L. (2008). "Atmospheric Electricity at Saturn". Space Science Reviews. 137 (1–4): 271–285. Bibcode:2008SSRv..137..271F. doi:10.1007/s11214-008-9370-z.
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