innovativeedge     Thu, Nov 13, 2008  Permanent link
If the red in image is the terrain of the planet, the similarity between the shape of the terrain and the light is pretty curious.
AsylumSeaker     Mon, Nov 24, 2008  Permanent link
It isn't "terrain" per se. Saturn is a gas giant and what you see in that image are cloud formations. Saturn is famous for its rings, but more recently this hexagonal cloud banding has amazed sightseers:

My guess is not that the aurora is influenced by the shape of the clouds but that both the clouds and the aurora are influenced by the magnetic field of the planet.
Xereche     Mon, Dec 1, 2008  Permanent link
Unfortunately, there is too much dogma in science, and main-stream cosmology is rife with theories claimed as facts. Repeated comments such as "we weren't expecting this" is an indication that models, such as the gravity-only model are failing to explain reality. There is only so much you can predict and not much you can actually prove using mathematics and computer models. If another model fits the observed evidence better, then the alternate model needs to be given due consideration using the honest scientific method and not simply trashed if it doesn't fit the previous model. Too many cosmologists depend on funding to keep their accepted but failing theories going, while another branch of science has much better theoretical models that do not require ad-hoc theories to keep outdated theories alive. If provided with the tools to research instead of denied telescope time simply because their theories threaten main-stream theories, then this really could be the new cosmology: