Name the Giant Hexagon Thing Above Saturn

Posted on March 28, 2007

Photo of hexagon shaped formation at Saturn's north pole

Scientists are puzzled by a giant hexagon formation of clouds seen at Saturn's north pole. The formation was first spotted by a telescope over twenty-five years ago, and it's still there. Which is really, really weird. Now the scientists at the TierneyLab have said they will name the formation after the person who sends in the most entertaining explanation of the phenomenon.

John Tierney of The New York Times reports that the atmospheric feature was first spotted in 1980. It was recently spotted again by the the Cassini spacecraft and the first full image of the hexagon was imaged by its infrared spectrometer.

Kevin Baines, atmospheric expert and member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team, says in a statement, "This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides. We've never seen anything like this on any other planet. Indeed, Saturn's thick atmosphere where circularly-shaped waves and convective cells dominate is perhaps the last place you'd expect to see such a six-sided geometric figure, yet there it is."

Oh, please. It's clearly some kind of cloud city where the Saturnians live because their planet is so awful. Don't these scientists watch Star Trek? There had to have been a gazillion episodes where the people messed up their planet and had to move to the clouds, leaving the troglytes below. Although, because no humanoid could survive even a millisecond in that atmosphere the Saturnians probably don't look a thing like us. Maybe they're all shaped like hexagons themselves? Or maybe the hexagon has some special meaning for the six sides represent the six armies that are coming to take over Earth. You know, it's like their Pentagon, but it's a Hexagon.