It is summer time on Saturn, and it is rare for the continent to see such a clear view. The Hubble Space Telescope recently captured a new image of the planet, showing its rings in stunningly clear detail.
In its latest report on the new image, which was taken on July 4, NASA called Saturn the “ruler of the rings.” At that time, the planet was 839 million miles from Earth – visible as just a bright spot of light with.
The photo was taken as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy project, which helps scientists explore the giants of our solar system. Astronomers want to follow changing weather patterns and storms on Saturn to understand its evolution.
NASA said the image highlights summer time in the northern hemisphere of the planet. Not only is it stunning, it also captures important details of the changing planet’s air.
Numerous small atmospheric storms are visible, as well as the color of the bands changes every year.
The pink mist that can be seen over the northern hemisphere can be caused by the increased solar heat that dissipates in the summer. Heat can affect circulation or atmospheric ice, or sunlight can affect photochemical fog, NASA reported.
“It’s amazing to see seasonal changes even in a few years in Saturn,” said Amy Simon, chief researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Alternatively, the shade of blue that can be seen at the southern pole of the planet – barely visible – highlights how Saturn changes during the winter.
Mimas (right) and Enceladus, two of Saturn at 82 months, are also clearly visible in the picture. NASA previously speculated that Enceladus, which is the point at the bottom of the image, could support life.
The famous icy rings of the planet are also clearly visible.
How and when the rings were formed remains a mystery. One theory suggests that they are as old as the planet itself, just over 4 billion years ago. However, the brightness of the rings suggests that they may have formed much later as dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its ownearlier this year. Her successor, powerful , is scheduled to start in 2021. in October if the coronavirus pandemic did not delay it further.