Saturn aurora

Saturn’s auroras persist for days, as opposed to only minutes on Earth. To find the similarities in these two different auroras, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Cassini spacecraft monitored Saturn’s South Pole simultaneously.

Image credit: J. Clarke (Boston U.) & Z. Levay (STScI), ESA, NASA



Hubble snapped images in ultraviolet light, while, as Cassini closed in on the gas giant in January 2004, recorded radio emissions and monitored the solar wind. Like on Earth, Saturn’s auroras make total or partial rings around magnetic poles.

Although surely created by charged particles entering the atmosphere, Saturn‘s auroras also appear to be more closely modulated by the solar wind than either Earth’s or Jupiter’s auroras. The above sequence shows three Hubble images of Saturn each taken two days apart.

source APOD