Hubble Space Telescope captures breathtakingly clear image of summertime on Saturn

by Bryan Brammer · Jul 30th, 2020 2:49 pm
20

NASA

Last Updated Jul 31st, 2020 at 1:27 pm

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a breathtakingly clear image of what summertime is like in Saturn's northern hemisphere.

The image was taken on July 4, when the massive planet was approximately 839 million miles from Earth, NASA announced on Thursday, calling Saturn "the lord of the rings."

Scientists say the reddish haze seen over the northern hemisphere could be due to increased heat from the sun, which may affect circulation or the ice in the atmosphere.

The photo also shows the planet's two moons — Mimas to the right, and Enceladus at the bottom. A blue hue at the south pole is also visible, demonstrating the changes in Saturn's winter atmosphere.

"It's amazing that even over a few years, we're seeing seasonal changes on Saturn," Amy Simon, lead investigator of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said.

The strikingly detailed image is part of a project named Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy. Its goal is to help researchers understand the atmospheric dynamics and evolution on gas giant planets such as Saturn and Jupiter.


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