Rick Weiss has a short item on the strange massive hexagon positioned at Saturn's north pole. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, mentioning sites talking about the obvious coverup underway:
NASA scientists seeking ideas need look no further than the countless Web sites devoted to conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena, more than a few of which presume that NASA knows the answer -- and is covering it up.
"I can't wait to hear NASA explain this thing," one blogger wrote. "Isn't there some statement out there that straight lines in nature are impossible? Well, here are six."
Bizarre geometric shapes that appear at the centre of swirling vortices in planetary atmospheres might be explained by a simple experiment with a bucket of water.
Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby have created similar geometric shapes (holes in the form of stars, squares, pentagons and hexagons) in whirlpools of water in a cylindrical bucket1. The shapes appear easily enough once the bucket is spinning at a rate of one to seven revolutions per second, they say....
The researchers found that once the plate was spinning so fast that the water span out to the sides, creating a hole of air in the middle, the dry patch wasn't circular as might be expected. Instead it evolved, as the bucket's spin sped up, from an ellipse to a three-sided star, to a square, a pentagon, and, at the highest speeds investigated, a hexagon.
That makes for stunning science but, at least, science. The pentagon photo I show here, by researcher T.N.R. Jannson, is from the Nature.com story. The Saturn hexagon image is available at the Post story, and in its broad outline is quite similar. Other than one extra side and spanning 15,000 miles instead of inside a bucket, of course.
Oh, and there's also British researchers grow heart tissue from stem cells, namely adult bone marrow cells. The link is to an AFP story on Yahoo news. A news service used by the Post called Health Day has it in a brief online, but so far I don't see anything in the Washington Post. If Weiss would like to add balance all of his embryonic stem-cell coverage, this is an opportunity.