News Release Archive:

News Release 516 of 1051

February 16, 2005 02:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2005-06

Saturn's Auroras Defy Scientists' Expectations


Video: Saturn's Aurora: Changes During Jan. 8-30, 2004 (Unannotated)

Running Time: 4 seconds

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph took a series of snapshots of Saturn's aurora dancing in the sky. The ultraviolet images were taken on Jan. 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28 and 30, 2004. This dissolve squence shows the aurora appearing as a ring of light circling the planet's polar ring. Collisions with atoms and molecules make the gases in the planet's atmosphere glow in visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Clarke (Boston Univ.) and G. Bacon (STScI)

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):

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