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Saturns Weird Hexagon Vortex Stuns in NASA Photo

Forget Saturn's rings. The jewel of the solar system has another stunning feature that only faraway spacecraft can see clearly: a weird hexagon-shaped vortex that's been swirling above Saturn's north pole for at least 30 years.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this dramatic portrait of Saturn's geometric jet stream in July 2013 from about 605,000 miles (973,000 kilometers) away from the planet. The image — which NASA released this week — has a scale of 36 miles (58 km) per pixel and faces the sunlit side of the rings, from about 33 degrees above the ringplane.

The puzzling, hexagonal cloud pattern was first spotted by NASA's Voyager mission in the early 1980s. It was still there after Cassini arrived in orbit around Saturn in 2004 after a long journey from Earth than began in 1997.

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