NASA spots mysterious change in Saturn's hexagon

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A NASA spacecraft recently noticed that the appearance of Saturn's north pole has undergone a mysterious change over the last several years.

In a news release on Friday, the agency notes, "two natural color images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the changing appearance of Saturn's north polar region between 2012 and 2016."

Furthermore, NASA says, "Scientists are investigating potential causes for the change in color of the region inside the north-polar hexagon on Saturn. 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."

The agency adds, "Researchers think the hexagon, which is a six-sided jetstream, might act as a barrier that prevents haze particles produced outside it from entering."

The images were captured by Cassini spacecraft's wide-angle camera.

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