Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

The Blazing Poles Of Blue Saturn

Illustration for article titled The Blazing Poles Of Blue Saturn

Saturn put on an incredible once-in-a-blue-moon show for the Hubble Space Telescope — Hubble was able to view the planet when its rings were edge-on, so that the planet's twin aurorae, its northern and southern lights, were visible.

Advertisement

According to Hubble press site:

At first glance the light show of Saturn's aurorae appears symmetric at the two poles. However, analysing the new data in greater detail, astronomers have discovered some subtle differences between the northern and southern aurorae, which reveal important information about Saturn's magnetic field. The northern auroral oval is slightly smaller and more intense than the southern one, implying that Saturn's magnetic field is not equally distributed across the planet; it is slightly uneven and stronger in the north than the south. As a result, the electrically charged particles in the north are accelerated to higher energies as they are fired toward the atmosphere than those in the south. This confirms a previous result obtained by the space probe Cassini, in orbit around the ringed planet since 2004.

Advertisement

Click to enlarge, or download your new desktop pattern at the link. [SpaceTelescope.org]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

ManchuCandidate
ManchuCandidate

This is a problem that happens to both men and planets. All that excited energy and no where to discharge it to.