Saturn’s auroras put on a dazzling display of light.
Scientists first observed Saturn’s auroras in 1979. Decades later, these shimmering ribbons of light still fascinate. For one thing they’re magnificently tall, rising hundreds of miles above the planet’s poles. And unlike on Earth where bright displays fizzle after only a few hours, auroras on Saturn can shine for days. Auroras are produced when speeding particles accelerated by the sun’s energy collide with gases in a planet’s atmosphere. The gases fluoresce, emitting flashes of light at different wavelengths. Watch the video to see an edge-on view of Saturn’s northern and southern lights courtesy of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Auroras are colored green in these infrared views of Saturn.
Writer: Paul Gabrielsen (NASA/GSFC)
Please give credit for this item to: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Cover image courtesy of NASA/ESA/STScI/A. Schaller Video courtesy of NASA/ESA/University of Leicester/J. Nichols False-color image courtesy of NASA/JPL/University of Colorado Hubble image courtesy of NASA/ESA/J. Clarke, Boston University/Z. Levay, STScI Infrared image courtesy of NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/University of Leicester
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