NASA's Hubble Telescope Captures Breathtaking Image Of Summertime On Saturn

 - Sakshi Post

NASA and ESA's Hubble Space Telescope have taken a new image of Saturn and its rings that offers a glimpse of the summer season in the northern hemisphere of the earth. Interestingly, the two lines on the right and the left are Mimas and Enceladus, the icy moons of Saturn.

Earth orbits our Sun about 30 times for every orbit completed by Saturn. Therefore, Hubble is capable of observing Saturn every year during the time when Earth completes a lap around the slow-poke gas giant.

According to NASA, this image was captured by Hubble as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) project on July 4, when Saturn was just 839 million miles away from Earth. In this picture, Hubble was able to capture the summer in the northern hemisphere of the planet. Indeed, Saturn has seasons, because it is rotated on its axis, much like Earth.

The yellowish-brown hue of Saturn is primarily due to the atmosphere consisting of hydrogen and helium with some amounts of ammonia, phosphorus, water vapor, and hydrocarbons. Within the picture, the reddish mist over the northern hemisphere seen in the color composite image may be due to a rise in temperature due to extra sunlight during the summer.

Hubble took to its Twitter and tweeted, "Here’s a brand new look at Saturn! Like Earth, Saturn is tilted on its axis and has seasons. In this Hubble image, taken earlier this month, it’s summertime in the northern hemisphere." Here is the tweet.

NASA explains that heating may cause a change in air circulation or even eliminate ice from aerosols in the atmosphere. The increased sunlight can also alter the amount of photochemical haze produced that can cause red haze. The south pole has a blue hue due to shifts in the winter hemisphere of Saturn.

NASA said that, "The banding in the northern hemisphere remains pronounced as seen in Hubble 's 2019 observations, with some bands significantly shifting color from year to year. The atmosphere of the ringed planet is mainly hydrogen and helium with traces of ammonia, methane, water vapor and hydrocarbons that give it a yellowish-brown hue."

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