NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Has Found A New Potentially Habitable Planet

Saturn and Its Rings Look Truly Spectacular in This Hubble Telescope Portrait

Saturn and Its Rings Look Truly Spectacular in This Hubble Telescope Portrait

The image was captured using the space telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 in late June, though the Hubble team only shared the final image with the public today.

Saturn is so lovely that astronomers can not resist using the Hubble Space Telescope to take yearly snapshots of the ringed world when it is at its closest distance to Earth.

Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens first identified the rings in 1655 and thought they were a continuous disk encircling the planet, but we now know them to be composed of orbiting particles of ice and dust.

These images, however, are more than just beauty shots.

"Saturn hosts many recognizable features, most notably its trademark ring system, which is now tilted towards Earth", NASA/ESA officials wrote in the image description. The image reveals that the ring system is tilted toward Earth, giving viewers a magnificent look at the bright, icy structure.

Size comparison of Earth and K2-18b
Size comparison of Earth and K2-18b

And then, there's Saturn's freakish hexagon, a target of truly perplexing geometry. The perplexing polygon was first discovered by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1981 and is caused by a high-speed jet stream. "The hexagon is so large that four Earths could fit inside its boundaries (there is no similar structure at Saturn's south pole)". Solar ultraviolet radiation drives these reactions, according to scientists, who explain that the haze covers lower levels of ammonium hydrosulphide and water clouds, as well as clouds formed from ammonia ice crystals.

Hubble also witnessed some of Saturn's moons circling around the gorgeous planet, including Enceladus, Janus, Mimas, Rhea, and Tethys.

The Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990 and is one of the most prolific space observatories of all time.

The exoplanet was first spotted in 2015 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft but analysis of data has revealed new details that have not been seen on a super-earth before.

The space telescope observed the ringed planet in June 2019 as part of the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy Program (OPAL), which according to NASA, is helping scientists understand the atmospheric dynamics and evolution of the solar system's gas giant planets, including Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, and Uranus. "However, Hubble has one advantage over space probes; it can look at these objects periodically and observe them over much longer periods than any passing probe could".

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