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Saturn's Strange Hexagon Recreated In the Lab

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the reproducing-the-big-wet-spot dept.

Space 103

cremeglace writes "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. More details, including a cool demo video, at ScienceNOW."

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103 comments

But, what I want to know... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781292)

When will they solve the mystery of the inflamed ring around Uranus?

Re:But, what I want to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781664)

When will they solve the mystery of the inflamed ring around Uranus?

You mean the ring that appears when reading moonbat comments on /.?

Re:But, what I want to know... (0, Offtopic)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781678)

When will they solve the mystery of the inflamed ring around Uranus?

They started with Preperation A and have made it up to Preparation F now, but they figure another couple tries and they'll have it licked.

Re:But, what I want to know... (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781850)

When will they solve the mystery of the inflamed ring around Uranus?

They started with Preperation A and have made it up to Preparation F now, but they figure another couple tries and they'll have it licked.

Eww!

Re:But, what I want to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781688)

I thought that the Goatse Conjecture explained it rather conclusively.

Re:But, what I want to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781744)

They have. It's called "poppers." Ask Bahney Fwank about it.

Re:But, what I want to know... (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782440)

That's what the TUCKS probe is supposed to find out!

Obligatory reference (2, Funny)

ZaMoose (24734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783254)

Professor: "I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all."

Fry: "Oh. What's it called now?"

Professor: "Urectum. Here, let me locate it for you."

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781308)

This was explained when these pictures first came out. Years ago.

Re:Yawn (5, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781346)

RTFA- the vortex previously used to explain this effect was gone when Cassini came by- but the hexagon was still there. This is a laboratory experiment, completely reproducible, that explains the effect in a new way.

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

arielCo (995647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783186)

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.

The PP is correct - it was also recreated in 2006 [nature.com] with only a spinning bottom. What was disproved is that the hexagon was shaped by an *offset* vortex. And it was featured in /. [slashdot.org] too, IKEA jokes included :) Quoth ye olde article:

Tomas Bohr and colleagues made plexiglass buckets, 13 and 20 centimetres across, with metal bottoms that could be rotated at high speed by a motor. [...] Swinney, meanwhile, thinks that the process is unlikely to apply to large-scale flows such as that on Saturn, but might be relevant to smaller-scale phenomena such as tornadoes.

Then again, experiments must be repeated for validation, additional data and other improvements (including prettier videos!)

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31787098)

It was also repeated in some new age pseudo science movie I saw before that. As some sort of evidence of the "memory" or "energy" of water or something weird like that. Apparently if you spin water at different RPMs it will form a few different geometric shapes.

Explained the same way 4 years ago!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31783438)

Geez this is old news....

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060519/full/news060515-17.html

Re:Yawn (1)

blargfellow (948805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781434)

Old news. This article [nature.com] from 2006 details a similar experiment.

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781528)

Similar experiment, opposite conclusions.

2006: Faster speeds, more sides
2010: Faster speeds, fewer sides

Re:Yawn (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781974)

Dis-similar experiments, Dis-similar conclusions.

2006: Spin a bucket of water

2010: Spin a ring inside a slower spinning bucket of water

Geometrical (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781334)

A hexagon? The summary is right, that is the most geometrical feature I've ever seen in the solar system. At least twice as geometrical as all those spheroids and ellipses.

Re:Geometrical (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781362)

don't forget those pesky 6 sided snowflakes that keep falling

Re:Geometrical (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781630)

The summary is right, that is the most geometrical feature I've ever seen in the solar system. At least twice as geometrical as all those spheroids and ellipses.

Sadly, it's a direct quote of the first line of TFA:

Saturn boasts one of the solar system's most geometrical features: a giant hexagon encircling its north pole.

Re:Geometrical (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790034)

And does a hexagon really "enCIRCLE" something or does it "enhexagon" the north pole?

Re:Geometrical (4, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781642)

Spheroids, ellipses and circles arise fairly naturally from well-understood laws. Even if the laws were a bit different we'd still see them a fair bit. For example, if gravity was inverse linear planets would still organize into spheres. Orbits wouldn't be ellipses but they aren't really ellipses anyways, just ellipses to a first approximation (gravity from other planets distorts the orbits a measurable amount. This was actually used to predict the existence of Neptune based on the failure for Uranus to in as nice an ellipse). But hexagons are very rare in nature. In that sense they are a nice geometric object that we generally associate either with humans or with evolved self-organizing processes (such as bees which use hexagons because they are an efficient tiling pattern). But hexagons out of simple processes like this is just weird. In that sense this is more akin to geometrical objects like squares and octagons that you just don't see in nature. The point being made by using that term should have been clear.

Re:Geometrical (4, Informative)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781820)

Bubbles will tessalate into hexagons with the right pressure. i guess it's more stable (closer to circles/spheres) than other shapes.

Re:Geometrical (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782172)

As I understand it this is the same thing that's happening with why bees use hexagons, minimizing surface area. Surface area minimization is the main reason that hexagons generally show up in nature, but the contexts they do are pretty rare. I'm only aware of the bubble thing, TFA's and the hexagonal crystals. They're probably are others but the point is they aren't common at all and when they do occur they occur for interesting reasons.

Re:Geometrical (3, Informative)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783150)

Hexagonal crystals are also not unusual, for similar reasons.

What would be weird would be a naturally occurring repeating pattern of different shapes, e.g., a soccerball-like repeating mixture of pentagons and hexagons, or a pattern of octagons that each adjoin another octagon on the north, south, east, and west edges, with squares (angled at 45 degrees) filling the gaps between the ne, sw, se, and nw edges, and bonus points if adjoining octagons are different colors while the ones across squares from eachother are the same color. Show me THAT occurring naturally, and I'll stand there with my jaw hanging open staring at it in wonderment.

Re:Geometrical (2, Interesting)

telomerewhythere (1493937) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783300)

Buckyballs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullerene [wikipedia.org]

Re:Geometrical (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784886)

Fullerines are manmade. It's normal for manmade things to have complex structures and patterns. It would only be surprising it it arose naturally without human intervention.

Buckyballs, natural or only synthetic (3, Informative)

telomerewhythere (1493937) | more than 4 years ago | (#31785196)

You know, I thought that at first too, and maybe you know more than I, but the article I linked says they occur naturally.

Minute quantities of the fullerenes, in the form of C60, C70, C76, and C84 molecules, are produced in nature, hidden in soot and formed by lightning discharges in the atmosphere.[6] Recently, fullerenes were found in a family of minerals known as Shungites in Karelia, Russia.

I looked up a few sources, and they agree. Here is one that looks legit: http://www.springerlink.com/content/w3856554l87733w3/fulltext.pdf?page=1 [springerlink.com]

Re:Geometrical (2, Informative)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31788360)

Fullerenes are ridiculously common in soot. Besides, you don't think "manmade" means going in and arranging atoms one-by-one in arrangements that aren't stable, do you? If the atoms are in a stable arrangement, it's because it minimizes the free energy of the system, and I guarantee that nature has figured out a way to get there first.

Re:Geometrical (0, Offtopic)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784566)

You describe that and I immediately think of a similar scenario where life in animals and our bodies exists naturally apart from it happening with a Prime Mover orchestrating the evolution. It makes my jaw drop to consider that happening without a Prime Mover, but for that the internet metaphorically stones me.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31786534)

Actually, the soccerball formation (truncated icosahedron) is found in carbon buckyballs, which can form naturally.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31786246)

Minimum exposed surface area?

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31782190)

Yeah, but this is just a standing wave (of some sort, we don't know exactly what sort AFAIK, but maybe TFA says...), so the hexagon is a bit of a red herring -- pentagon, septagon, etc. could all arise from the same phenomenon.

Re:Geometrical (2, Informative)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782284)

According TFA they have made triangles and squares too, pretty much any shape you want by varying the speed. The fast the differential the fewer sides.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31782194)

Orbits wouldn't be ellipses but they aren't really ellipses anyways, just ellipses to a first approximation

Ideal (mathematical) shapes are never met in real life. News at 11.

In that sense this [the Saturn hexagon] is more akin to geometrical objects like squares and octagons that you just don't see in nature.

Crystallization, anybody? I'm not an expert in this field, so I don't remember stumbling upon octagons, but pyrite, for example, forms cubes, that is, 6 squares for each crystal. Squares are really not that unnatural ...

The point being made by using that term should have been clear.

Yes, it is, but it is stupid, nonetheless. Hexagons are not more geometrical, they are possibly more complex than, say, circles.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31782856)

Carbon atoms will arrange themselves into hexagons and pentagons quite readily in a natural process.

Re:Geometrical (2, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783018)

But hexagons are very rare in nature.

Yeah, HoneyComb, SnowFlakes, Hexagonnaly symmetric Invertebrates (i.e. 6 Legged SeaStars), and Six-Sided Crystals (Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc) are all very rare in nature.

Re:Geometrical (3, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783566)

They are as rare as proper capitalization.

Re:Geometrical (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31783850)

Probably as rare as grammar trolls on slashdot.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790698)

Or as rare as people that don't know the difference between grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31785516)

They're all ClassNames!

Re:Geometrical (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783612)

Yes, you just made the point that he went on to mention in the same post you quoted, including the same example of a honeycomb.

Re:Geometrical (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783796)

Well, he did use honeycomb but basically said that hexagons came out of behavior (animal created structures where animals == bees or people) so you're right, I shouldn't have used the honeycomb example.

However, the other examples show that structures that were not created by deliberate animal behavior and refute his point.

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31785252)

Uh, except he didn't say "behavior", he said "self-organizing processes". Like... crystallization.

Re:Geometrical (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784572)

But hexagons are very rare in nature.

Yeah, HoneyComb, SnowFlakes, Hexagonnaly symmetric Invertebrates (i.e. 6 Legged SeaStars), and Six-Sided Crystals (Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc) are all very rare in nature.

only because the basic building blocks of atoms dictate that they arrange in that structure.
When they're not rigidly connected (like in an atmosphere) then we're talking about something completely different.

Re:Geometrical (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31793710)

Yeah, HoneyComb, SnowFlakes, Hexagonnaly symmetric Invertebrates (i.e. 6 Legged SeaStars), and Six-Sided Crystals (Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc) are all very rare in nature.

Yes, they are. At any random moment, survey your surroundings -- how many naturally occurring hexagons do you see?

Just because we can list examples of natural hexagonal objects, and even though these objects sometimes exist in localized areas in large numbers, doesn't change the fact that they are extremely rare. Most things at a macroscopic scale are NOT shaped like hexagons. (I specify "macroscopic" because at smaller scales, where the discreteness of matter begins to dominate, it's not at all unexpected that polygons and polyhedra will arise)

Hmmm, what about this? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31785366)

Re:Geometrical (1)

Ken Broadfoot (3675) | more than 4 years ago | (#31786872)

Hexagons are rare in nature....
Not at a molecular level....

I wonder if fluid dynamics ( as it may or may not be applicable to a quantum electron cloud ) may be another way to look at the way molecules take their shapes?

Rather than think of valence bonds and such, but rather see it as a "blob" of energy that is doing something similar as these experiments show on a small level? The fact that the sides are geometric, is another form of discreet math, as shows up in string theory as well..

I am old and my brain does not work as good anymore but seems to me something is here....

Re:Geometrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781786)

Even better... this hexagon encircles something.

Mystery? (0, Flamebait)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781374)

What is this, 1629? What's mysterious about Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

Re:Mystery? (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781696)

Just for starters...

Why has it persisted for so long?
Why is it red?

Re:Mystery? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781854)

Why is it so large?

Re:Mystery? (4, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781892)

Why is it on Jupiter?

Re:Mystery? (2, Funny)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782810)

Because if it was on Earth it'd cover everything. Just look at what happened to Mars!

Re:Mystery? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784080)

Why has it persisted for so long?

Do other massive storms on gas giants dissipate quickly?

Why is it red?

Is there something baffling about it being red? We may not know its exact composition, but it's hardly a "mystery".

Re:Mystery? (1)

zlel (736107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784224)

Sure doesn't beat the mystery of the G-spot.

Re:Mystery? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31786390)

I certainly did uncovered and beat that mystery in qoncept's mom.

Re:Mystery? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790462)

Sure doesn't beat the mystery of the G-spot.

There's no mystery, once you get past the smell you have it licked.

Re:Mystery? (1)

s66iw (1214466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790864)

There's no mystery, once you get past the smell you have it licked.

I'd be curious to know how you can reach in there... Some tongue you must have :)

Washing machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781394)

Didn't someone do this with washing machines a few years ago? Links?

Re:Washing machine (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781702)

Yes, but this experiment proves the shape can form even in the absence of Tide®-al forces.

Similar article from some years ago... (3, Interesting)

comm2k (961394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781396)

Re:Similar article from some years ago... (4, Informative)

chaodyn (1313729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781498)

That was done with one fluid, and looked at the shape of the "empty" space at the bottom of the bucket - the article also states that the researcher didn't think it would apply to large bodies like planets, but possibly for small bodies like tornadoes. This recent experiment used a base fluid rotating at one speed and a "disk" to rotate a subset fluid at a higher rate, simulating jet streams - seems much more relevant than the previous experiment, IMO.

Duh! (4, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781428)

That's where you stick the socket in. Stupid scientists.

SATURN HAS 6 CORNER (5, Funny)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781440)

SIMULTANEOUS 6-DAY

TIME HEXAGON

IN ONLY 10.57 HOUR ROTATION

Re:SATURN HAS 6 CORNER (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781468)

Burma Shave?

Re:SATURN HAS 6 CORNER (0, Funny)

SalsaDoom (14830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781500)

Oh shit.

Just when I finally wrapped my head around time with 4 sides ;(

YOU ARE EDUCATED STUPID (1)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781594)

I am intrigued by your ideas and I wish to subscribe to your news-letter.

Re:SATURN HAS 6 CORNER (3, Informative)

Sparkycat (1703438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781686)

$1,000.00 TO ANYONE WHO CAN DISPROVE THE HARMONIC HEXAGON.

( http://www.timecube.com/ [timecube.com] for anyone not getting the joke)

Chalker's Well World (4, Funny)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781516)

"A giant hexagon encircling its north pole?"

Well, that sounds familiar:

"The team discovers a surface anomaly near the north pole of the planet, where a hexagonal hole appears for a brief interval every day. " [wikipedia.org]

I for one welcome... er, wonder where our Markovian Overlords went.

Re:Chalker's Well World (1)

Tteddo (543485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31788396)

It's sad that there are less people like us on this thread than the last one. That was the first thing I thought of. Loved those books.

earth's strange population decreating itself? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31781598)

what an experiment, no? lots more bodies, nowhere left to hide. no plan to thrive (genuinely), or even survive for most of us.

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, who never need to re-create anything, & are very possibly willing to leave many of us to re-create ourselves (as we were meant to be). the only purpose we've ever had here is to care for one another. maybe we'll get it right sometime. see you there after the big flash?

Missing the obvious... (3, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781694)

It's one of the valid places to move your Mech.

Re:Missing the obvious... (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31785226)

It's one of the valid places to move your Mech.

Sorry, I think you have "Mech" confused with "Zig".

Similar Features in Mercury (4, Informative)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31781748)

Similar oscillations have been observed in Mercury [mac.com] .

Click on Activity 3 [mac.com] .

Re:Similar Features in Mercury (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784724)

LOL, I had completely the wrong idea when I read your post. I was like "What bizarre hexagonal oscillations could have been seen on the planet Mercury?!"

Someone needs to learn Photoshop. (1)

RSKennan (835119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782024)

It's obvious to me that someone screwed up the tiling on that texture.

Hexagons are natural and common (1)

elbiatcho1 (1554817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782130)

"Hexagon is nature’s way of using the least length of line to enclose the most area."

View tortoise shells and Devils Postpile National Monument.

Re:Hexagons are natural and common (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31782348)

In this case, it's more like "Hexagon is stupid people's way of referring to any symmetric 6-lobed shape."
View a standing wave with periodicity of 6.

If it was a true hexagon, with perfect line segments, your explanation might be the obvious one (except that it's bogus), but nobody would be asking about the hexagon. They'd be asking what about Saturn's atmosphere makes features form in straight lines contrary to everything we know about fluid mechanics.

For the details of why you're wrong, consider a DragonballZgon (that's a regular polygon with over 9000 sides) -- more area for the same amount of line. It's only weakness is that you can't tesselate a bloody thing with it; since tortoises don't like shells with holes in them, and mass doesn't simply disappear from between the fragments when rocks crack, the hexagon has a valuable role as the tesselating shape with the lowest perimeter/area ratio.

Re:Hexagons are natural and common (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782354)

Hmmm....

A regular hexagon of circumference C has an area A =~ 2.6(C/6)^2. A/C =~ 0.072*C

A circle of circumference C has an area A = pi ( C / 2pi)^2. A/C =~ 0.79*C

So, circles still win as far as "most area enclosed for least length of line".

I think tortoise shells are better explained by the fact that hexagons tile well. Tiling isn't really the issue with saturn; there's just the one.

Re:Hexagons are natural and common (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783424)

"Hexagon is nature's way of using the least length of line to enclose the most area."

Right, when circles aren't available.

i could have saved them a bunch of money (2, Informative)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782310)

i made hexagon shapes in the bird bath in my back yard with the garden hose while spraying water in it in such a way that gets water spinning in a circular direction (to clean out debris and freshen the water)

Re:i could have saved them a bunch of money (1)

Old School Saturn Fa (575758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782774)

Thank you!

UK catching up, only 11 years behind Denmark! (2, Interesting)

Old School Saturn Fa (575758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31782716)

Yeah so polygons are formed in hydraulic rotating systems when you introduce a vertical jet of a different viscosity. Welcome to 1999!

Jesus this is getting ridiculous! When can Scandinavian scientists start to believe that UK/US researchers even scan their works before publishing? Its like Anders Celsius never existed!

http://iopscience.iop.org/0951-7715/12/1/001;jsessionid=B8281BB419A9613CD40649F803F5C666.c2 [iop.org]

Full disclosure: I am not Danish

Re:UK catching up, only 11 years behind Denmark! (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783450)

It's neither a recent phenomenon, nor confined to the hard sciences. For example, Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations years after Anders Chydenius was writing about similar things.

Re:UK catching up, only 11 years behind Denmark! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31785702)

Jesus this is getting ridiculous! When can Scandinavian scientists start to believe that UK/US researchers even scan their works before publishing?

As soon as it stops being a source of paper-publishing gold!

Just a big snowflake (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31783770)

It is an interesting fact, no two multi-earth-sized snowflakes are identical.

Re:Just a big snowflake (1)

PSandusky (740962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31784624)

Primarily because you can't step in the same hexagon twice.

I thought it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31784392)

Had more to do with cymatics Guess not... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxV0FrFMxUY

Another similar phenomena (1)

AnonymousX (1632759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31785024)

If you put sand on a plate and subject it to sound waves, you can make shapes at certain harmonics. This look familiar? http://www.world-mysteries.com/sci_cym3.gif [world-mysteries.com] I wouldn't be surprised at all if these were related phenomena.

The Saturnians are planning an attack!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31785168)

The Saturnians are planning an a attack on earth and decided that to be able to beat the earthlings ( well American earthlings) , they needed a Hexagon to be able to conquer your Pentagon.

*ducks*

Re:The Saturnians are planning an attack!!! (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31787176)

*ducks*

Ducking in fear of retaliation after voicing some quirky, offbeat, or specific humor hasn't been necessary since the general access to a means for free communication and a wide array of varied interestgroups finding eachother based on simularity, as very specific (eg. certain referencial) humor.

Get up buddy, make proud and bold quirky humor not everyone might get, there'll always be some people who'll love it and who will want to throw stuff at you. This is the age of free selfexpression with no consequences. (unless you laugh with moslims)

old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31785494)

once again, timothy, four years behind the times:
http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060515/full/news060515-17.html

Von Karman (1)

riboch (1551783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31785844)

It looks like a radial Von Karman Vortex Street, typically seen for low Reynolds numbers for flow over a cylinder. To me it like a Lorentz transformation similar to electrical current going in circles creating a magnet, and vice versa.

There are already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31787828)

available many videos by amateurs, demonstrating the creation of geometrical shapes through sound resonance in Chladni plates (including hexagons [youtube.com] ).

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