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Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
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ScienceShot: A Planet-Wide Thunderstorm
6 July 2011 1:04 pm
A small, bright feature that suddenly appeared in Saturn's northern hemisphere late last year and grew to a diameter approaching Earth's in a matter of weeks is a thunderstorm that's still raging. The day it was first observed in early December, the cloud measured only 2500 kilometers across, about the distance from Boston to Dallas. Three weeks later (shown on 24 December 2010), the storm system measured 17,000 km across and sported a tail that eventually stretched around the planet. Instruments on board the Cassini probe detected bursts of radio waves generated by lightning flashes that, at their peak, occurred at least 10 times per second, an international team of researchers reports today in Nature. Thermal energy brought up from lower layers of the atmosphere and released by the storm rivals that emitted by the entire planet in quiet times, the scientists note. Such storms, called "Great White Spots" due to their size and brightness, can be seen by Earthbound astronomers and occur on average every 30 years or so—approximately the length of a year on Saturn—but for some unknown reason this year's storm has appeared much earlier in the Saturnian spring than normal.
See more ScienceShots.