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News Release Archive:

News Release 33 of 39

October 10, 1995 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1995-39

Hubble Provides the First Images of Saturn's Aurorae

October 10, 1995: The Hubble telescope has taken the first picture of bright aurorae at Saturn's northern and southern poles [top picture]. The picture at the bottom was taken in visible light.

Hubble's far-ultraviolet-light image resolves a luminous, circular band centered on the north pole, where an enormous curtain of light rises as far as 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. This curtain changed rapidly in brightness and extent over the two-hour period of observations.

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Credit: J.T. Trauger (JPL), J.T. Clarke (Univ. of Michigan), the WFPC2 science team, and NASA