Large-Scale Storms in Saturn's Atmosphere During 1994

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Science  02 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5249, pp. 631-634
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5249.631


Large-scale storms are rarely observed in Saturn's atmosphere, but their appearance traces the wind velocity field, providing information on the vertical structure of the clouds and on the dynamics of the atmosphere. Two large-scale atmospheric disturbances formed by clouds highly reflective in the visible part of the spectrum were observed on Saturn during 1994. An equatorial disturbance with a longitudinal size of ∼27,000 kilometers drifted in longitude with a velocity of 273.6 meters per second. A second disturbance, a rapidly evolving convective storm with an initial size ∼7000 kilometers, was observed at 56 degrees south, moving with a zonal velocity of 15.5 meters per second.