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  • Saturn’s Northern Storms Cause Disturbances in Its ‘Heartbeat’

Despite their considerable differences, the equatorial middle atmospheres of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn all exhibit a similar phenomenon: vertical, cyclic patterns of alternating temperatures and wind systems that repeat over a period of multiple years.

These patterns — known as the Quasi-Periodic Oscillation (QPO) on Saturn and the Quasi-Quadrennial Oscillation (QQO) on Jupiter, due to their similarities to Earth’s Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) — appear to be a defining characteristic of the middle layers of a planetary atmosphere.

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