Hubble telescope captures beautifully detailed image of Saturn

The heat may be affecting circulation or ice in the atmosphere, or the sunlight may be affecting the production of photochemical haze, NASA said. Astronomers are eager to track shifting weather patterns and storms on Saturn in order to potentially understand its evolution. 

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The image highlights summertime in the planet’s northern hemisphere, NASA said. NASA has previously speculated that Enceladus, which is the dot at the bottom of the image, could support life. Also visible in crisp detail are the planet’s famous icy rings. 

How and when the rings formed remains a mystery. Hubble telescope captures beautiful new image of Saturn in stunningly clear detail

By Sophie Lewis

Updated on: July 28, 2020 / 3:22 PM
/ CBS News

Saturn’s rings are disappearing

Saturn’s rings are disappearing

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It’s summertime on Saturn, and rarely have Earthlings gotten to see such a clear view of it. Cassini captures Saturn and its moons

31 photos

First published on July 28, 2020 / 3:15 PM At the time, the planet was 839 million miles from Earth — visible as just a spot of bright light with the naked eye.The photo was taken as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy project, which is helping scientists study our solar system’s gas giants. The Hubble Space Telescope recently captured a new image of the planet, which shows its rings in stunningly clear detail. 

NASA called Saturn the “lord of the rings” in its recent announcement about the new image, which was taken on July 4. Wong (University of California, Berkeley), and the OPAL Team

Visible are a number of small atmospheric storms, as well as the bands’ changing color from year to year. The reddish haze that can be seen over the northern hemisphere may be due to increased heat from the sun that comes during the summer. Its successor, the powerful James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in October 2021, if the coronavirus pandemic does not delay it further. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), M.H. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of Saturn on July 4, 2020. 

NASA, ESA, A. Not only is it stunning, but it captures important details of the planet’s shifting weather. One theory suggests they are as old as the planet itself, just over 4 billion years. However, the brightness of the rings suggests they could have formed much more recently, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year. Trending News

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“It’s amazing that even over a few years, we’re seeing seasonal changes on Saturn,” said lead investigator Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.Alternatively, the blue hue that can be seen at the South Pole of the planet — just barely visible — highlights how Saturn changes during the winter. Mimas (right) and Enceladus, two of Saturn’s 82 moons, are also clearly visible in the image.