Above is an amazing series of images assembled by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory from imagery taken by the Cassini spacecraft's wide-angle camera in January 2009. It shows Saturn's north pole region and the incredible hexagonal cloud/jetstream feature encircling Saturn's north pole at a latitude of about 77 degrees.
This footage uses the visible-light spectrum and became possible as Saturn's northern regions emerged from permanent winter darkness: NASA's discussion of this feature explains that the black region of the footage over Saturn's north pole is due to the fact that the north pole had not yet emerged from the Saturn winter when this footage was taken. While Saturn's north pole was still shrouded in polar night (which it entered in 1991 and emerged from in 2009), imagery of this hexagonal jet stream was taken using infrared sensors on Cassini, but this visible-light imagery shows the feature in more detail and better spatial resolution.
NASA's page explains that this hexagonal pattern was first seen in footage taken of Saturn in the 1980s by the Voyager spacecraft, and that scientists are amazed that it still persists thirty years later. They do not know what causes it. NASA's site simply says, "The six-sided shape remains a mystery."
The excellent Red Ice interview with Richard Merrick discussed in an earlier blog post makes mention of this hexagonal feature of the planet Saturn, in contrast with the pentagonal shape created by Venus in its synodic pattern with earth and the sun.
Also, the outstanding book by Ross Hamilton, The Mystery of the Serpent Mound, mentioned in this previous post has some very important extended discussion of the hexagon, relating it to the insights of the Pythagoreans and to cultures even more ancient than Pythagoras.
On page 26 of that deep and far-ranging work, Mr. Hamilton tells us:
each and every individual spirit owns a "mass" which, united with its native homeland, essentially becomes the spherical shape. In the body, however, the spiritual currents of the little soul become plastic in order to fit the mold of the human being by way of the nerve fibers. At the time of death or initiation at the hands of a competent Mastersoul, the microsoul undergoes the return, however temporarily, to its original shape, experiencing great relief and high joy.It is for this reason that the sphere and the circle, and subsequently the hexagon, are particularly interesting to the mind of the incarnate soul. There is a substantial resonance in sympathy between the geometry and the underlying Reality.
Later, on page 67, he goes on:
The interrelationship of the hexagon and the ank-kabbalistic tree provides a basis for decoding much of the ancient mysteries, including enough of the Revelation to John to take its interpretation out of the immature ideologies of politically inclined Churchmen. The hexagon alone provides much of this information.
Mr. Hamilton relates all of this to the amazing Serpent Mound in Ohio. Whether the ancients were aware of the hexagon on Saturn (and whether that hexagon even existed thousands of years ago) remains a mystery we may never be able to answer.