Saturn’s North Pole Just Changed Color And Nobody Knows Why


When you thought 2016 couldn't get any weirder, Saturn just changed colour and no-one knows why...




Scientists that have been observing Saturn since 2004 have noticed that recently a huge part of it has turned from it's normal blue colour to a bright gold.



It is the Cassini Imaging Team, which is a probe that has been circling the planet since 2004 who have observed the change in colour. More specifically, it is the whole of Saturn's north pole that has changed it's colour. The north pole of Saturn is made from a huge hexagonal vortex, which is apparently large enough to swallow the earth whole.

Cassini have been monitoring the planet for years, and it has changed from  blue colour in 2012 to the bright gold it appears today. One theory  has suggested that accumulating haze particles could be behind the change. As odd as a colour-changing planet might sound, it's not the first time Saturn has done this, back in the period between 1995-2009, Saturn grew increasingly darker, again with no-one knowing the exact cause. It was suggested again, that this was a result of photochemical recations.





Nasa tried to explain to the public in a statement released on Friday, that now that the northern pole is tipping back toward the sun, increasing amounts of light are igniting more of these photochemical reactions, and producing this bright gold haze.

The color change is thought to be an effect of Saturn's seasons. In particular, the change from a bluish color to a more golden hue may be due to the increased production of photochemical hazes in the atmosphere as the north pole approaches summer solstice in May 2017.

Although the colour changes might seem alarming, they might not be predicting the end of the universe after all. With increasing technology we are accumulating better knowledge about our solar system all the time, and this may just be part of Saturn's seasonal cycle which we are observing. 





Only more studies over time will reveal the true cause of Saturn's colour-changing nature.




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