- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - What began as the appearance of a small white spot in Saturn’s northern hemisphere has turned into a raging lightning storm.

The international Cassini spacecraft and ground telescopes have been tracking the powerful storm since December. It’s still active seven months later.

Such planet-wide storms are rare on Saturn. Since 1876, astronomers have observed only five other megastorms on the ringed planet.

During the storm’s peak, Cassini detected 10 lightning strikes per second.

Scientists reported their observations in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

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Online:

Nature journal: https://www.nature.com/nature

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Alicia Chang can be followed at: https://twitter.com/SciWriAlicia

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