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Monster hurricane watch at Saturn's North Pole

Thursday - 5/2/2013, 1:14pm  ET

AP: eb82b50c-e391-4184-8cac-749a086f18ac
In an undated in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft and provided by NASA/JPL shows stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn's North Pole. The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 1,250 miles across. That's 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. The hurricane is believed to have been there for years.This image is among the first sunlit views of Saturn's north pole captured by Cassini's imaging cameras. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn's North Pole.

The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 1,250 miles across. That's 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. And it's spinning super-fast. Clouds at the outer edge of the storm are whipping around at 330 mph.

The hurricane is parked at Saturn's North Pole and relies on water vapor to keep it churning. It's believed to have been there for years. Cassini only recently had a chance to observe the vortex in visible light.

Scientists hope to learn more about Earth's hurricanes by studying this whopper at Saturn.

Cassini was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004.

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NASA: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/


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