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In Science, Feb 4, 2005, the W. M. Keck Observatory reported the discovery of a south polar hot spot on Saturn. Saturn's south pole is presently lit by the Sun but it was not expected to be the hottest place on the planet! Saturn's north pole has been in darkness since 1995, which prompted Dr. Orton to remark: "One of the obvious questions is whether Saturn's north pole is anomalously cold and whether a cold polar vortex has been established there."

>> Saturn's North Pole Hexagon and Aurora. This night-time view of Saturn's north pole by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer on NASA's Cassini orbiter reveals a dynamic, active planet at least 75 kilometers (47 miles) below the normal cloud tops seen in visible light. Clearly revealed is the bizarre six-sided hexagon feature present at the north pole. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.

The following day I posted the news "Saturn's Strange Hot Spot Explained." In it I made the following statement:
"The Electric Universe predicts, experimentum crucis, that BOTH poles should be hot, not one hot and the other cold." That extraordinary prediction was confirmed in a report in Science on Jan 4. Such unusual predictions have become a hallmark of the Electric Universe paradigm and establish it as a first class theory. The bizarre long-lived hexagonal feature is a mystery to astronomers. Ground-based observations published in Science, April 16, 1993, prompted the remark, "The large lifetime of cloud features poleward of ~74˚N seems amazing in view of the strong seasonal insolation cycle at these latitudes."

saturn20n20pole - saturn's north polar hot spot and the electric universe "experimentum crucis."
>> Orthographic projection of Saturn's north polar temperatures in the troposphere at 100 mbar. The polar hot spot is clearly visible along with the hexagonal structure at 79˚N. Credit: L. N. Fletcher et al., U. of Oxford, UK.

The polar hot spot and long-lived hexagonal feature results from a continuous electric current flowing from the Sun into the pole of Saturn. The hot spot will remain for as long as the Sun shines electrically. The blue (false color) auroral ring shows that the current flows into Saturn via a cylindrical electron beam propagating along Saturn's magnetic field and magnetically pinching (known as a Z-pinch) down to the polar region.

intense20aurora - saturn's north polar hot spot and the electric universe "experimentum crucis."
>>Depiction of an intense auroral funnel. The oblique upward view shows both down-flowing and up-flowing Birkeland current filaments contained within two concentric cylindrical sheets. The Z-pinch core is shown (purple).
"The auroral plasma column is susceptible to two plasma instabilities; hollowing of the relativistic electron beam to form the sheets and the diocotron instability that cause the sheets to filament into individual current strands causing the "swirls" or "curtains." These instabilities also produce the radiation observed over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum."

Birkeland current filamentation can be seen best in the top quadrants of Saturn's blue auroral ring. The cylindrical auroral beam is subject to vortex formation, known as 'diocotron instabilities.' Historically, vortex structure and vortex interactions in charged particle beams have been known since the turn of the 19th century when Kristian Birkeland first photographed the passage of particle beams through low vacuum in his terrella cathode experiments. Neighbouring vortices are subject to long-range attractive and short-range repulsive forces, which result in a departure of the discharge pattern from a circle to a polygon.

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Posted: 2008-11-19 00:32:16

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