Hubble telescope spots 'northern lights' on Saturn

Its exact nature is unclear’ Hubble snaps mysterious nebula

Its exact nature is unclear’ Hubble snaps mysterious nebula

What you're seeing is the ultraviolet images of Saturn's aurora layered over another image of Saturn in the visible spectrum taken at a later date.

To capture such astonishing image, NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observed the second-largest planet of our solar system right after it summer solstice when Saturn had its north pole tilted towards the Sun.

Because the atmosphere of the gaseous planets is dominated by hydrogen, these auroras can only be seen in ultraviolet wavelengths.

Auroras, also called the northern lights, are caused by magnetic particles moving down toward the poles and then interacting with molecules of nitrogen and oxygen which transform the sky into bright bands of green, red and violet lights.

Here on Earth, auroras are pretty neat sight to see.

This newly-observed spike in auroral activity was "strikingly reminiscent of Earth's aurora", according to the paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.

A gorgeous animation released today by the European Space Agency (ESA) unveils stunning blue auroras dancing over Saturn's north pole. The images show a rich variety of emissions with highly variable localized features. (A stout Saturn rotation takes honest 11 hours.) The aurora peaked in brightness on the planet's dawn and honest earlier than hour of darkness, researchers said in the assertion - however that hour of darkness height, by no manner considered earlier than, might presumably even need something to scheme with the model the photograph voltaic wind hits the planet around solstice, in specific.

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Earth's northern and southern auroras happen when the planet's magnetic discipline interacts with the photograph voltaic wind, the circulate of charged particles streaming from the solar.

In 2017, over seven months, the Hubble Space Telescope snapped the handsome dance of the "northern light" on Saturn, spotted over the gas planet's north pole.

Hubble has studied Saturn's auroras in the past.

We might think of auroras as being special to Earth, but in reality they are possible on any planet with a magnetic field and an atmosphere.

While the aurora looks blue in this picture, it's actually ultraviolet light. Cassini took more risks at the end of its mission, travelling through the gap between Saturn and its rings.

The Hubble data allowed scientists to learn more about Saturn's magnetosphere.

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