Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

Anything that doesn't quite fit in elsewhere...
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Yuli Ban
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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Saturn's hexagon
Saturn's hexagon is a persistent approximately hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet Saturn, located at about 78°N. The sides of the hexagon are about 14,500 km (9,000 mi) long, which is about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) longer than the diameter of Earth. The hexagon may be a bit more than 29,000 km (18,000 mi) wide, may be 300 km (190 mi) high, and may be a jet stream made of atmospheric gases moving at 320 km/h (200 mph). It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn's radio emissions from its interior. The hexagon does not shift in longitude like other clouds in the visible atmosphere.

Saturn's hexagon was discovered during the Voyager mission in 1981, and was later revisited by Cassini-Huygens in 2006. During the Cassini mission, the hexagon changed from a mostly blue color to more of a golden color. Saturn's south pole does not have a hexagon, as verified by Hubble observations. It does, however, have a vortex, and there is also a vortex inside the northern hexagon. Multiple hypotheses for the hexagonal cloud pattern have been developed.
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Saturn's Strange Hexagon Recreated in the Lab
Saturn boasts one of the solar system's most geometrical features: a giant hexagon encircling its north pole. Though not as famous as Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, Saturn's Hexagon is equally mysterious. Now researchers have recreated this formation in the lab using little more than water and a spinning table—an important first step, experts say, in finally deciphering this cosmic mystery.

Saturn’s striped appearance comes from jet streams that fly east to west through its atmosphere at different latitudes. Most jets form circular bands, but the Voyager spacecraft snapped pictures of an enormous hexagonally shaped one (each side rivals Earth's diameter) when it passed over the planet's north pole in 1988. Stumped scientists first attributed the shape to a huge, stormlike vortex along one of the hexagon’s sides, which Voyager also spotted during its journey. Astronomers believed this gyre was altering the jet stream’s course, much in the same way a large rock would change a nearby river’s path. But when the Cassini mission returned to Saturn and photographed Saturn's north pole in 2006, the vortex was gone, yet the hexagon was still there.

Physicists Ana Claudia Barbosa Aguiar and Peter Read of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom wanted to see if they could recreate the hexagon in the lab. They placed a 30-liter cylinder of water on a slowly spinning table; the water represented Saturn’s atmosphere spinning with the planet’s rotation. Inside this tank, they placed a small ring that whirled more rapidly than the cylinder. This created a miniature artificial "jet stream" that the researchers tracked with a green dye.


One of those things that just makes you go "what the fuck..." even when fully properly explained.
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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"Take it easy, nothing matters in the end."
– William Shatner
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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"Take it easy, nothing matters in the end."
– William Shatner
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Yuli Ban
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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Gyroscopic motion is the tendency of a rotating object to maintain the orientation of its rotation. A rotating object possesses angular momentum and this momentum must be conserved. The object will resist any change in its axis of rotation, as a change in orientation will result in a change in angular momentu
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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Quantum physics features several phenomena that are the closest things to magic in this physical reality of ours. One of which: the Casimir Effect

Casimir effect
In quantum field theory, the Casimir effect is a physical force acting on the macroscopic boundaries of a confined space which arises from the quantum fluctuations of the field. It is named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir, who predicted the effect for electromagnetic systems in 1948.

In the same year, Casimir together with Dirk Polder described a similar effect experienced by a neutral atom in the vicinity of a macroscopic interface which is referred to as Casimir–Polder force. Their result is a generalization of the London–van der Waals force and includes retardation due to the finite speed of light. Since the fundamental principles leading to the London–van der Waals force, the Casimir and the Casimir–Polder force, respectively, can be formulated on the same footing, the distinction in nomenclature nowadays serves a historical purpose mostly and usually refers to the different physical setups.

It was not until 1997 that a direct experiment by S. Lamoreaux quantitatively measured the Casimir force to within 5% of the value predicted by the theory.

The Casimir effect can be understood by the idea that the presence of macroscopic material interfaces, such as conducting metals and dielectrics, alters the vacuum expectation value of the energy of the second-quantized electromagnetic field. Since the value of this energy depends on the shapes and positions of the materials, the Casimir effect manifests itself as a force between such objects.

Any medium supporting oscillations has an analogue of the Casimir effect. For example, beads on a string as well as plates submerged in turbulent water or gas[ illustrate the Casimir force.

In modern theoretical physics, the Casimir effect plays an important role in the chiral bag model of the nucleon; in applied physics it is significant in some aspects of emerging microtechnologies and nanotechnologies.
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Yuli Ban
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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Chemicals can be very bizarre under the right circumstances
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Yuli Ban
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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Pyrocumulonimbus tornadoes:


One of the rarest types of tornado possible, these are formed from mesocyclonic convection within pyrocumulonimbus clouds. They've almost certainly happened more than the few times we've recorded them, but the conditions truly have to be perfect to see them.
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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"Take it easy, nothing matters in the end."
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Yuli Ban
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future
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Re: Rare & Bizarre Phenomena

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"Take it easy, nothing matters in the end."
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