Saturnian Light Show

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,466
    NASA used images captured by the Hubble Telescope and the Cassini spacecraft to create a 360 degree view of Saturn’s northern lights, assembling them into a “dancing lights” video.

    NASA, using the Hubble Telescope and Cassini spacecraft, captured 360 degree views of Saturn’s northern lights.  NASA joined up with international researchers to put together the footage of the lights to create the Saturnian show.  Hubble provided an ultraviolet view of the auroras, while Cassini gave scientists the close-up views in infrared and visible-light to create the dance.  NASA said, “The result is kind of step-by-step choreography detailing how the auroras move.” Solar flares result in auroras, causing collisions of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high latitude atmosphere.  These charged particles enter the planet’s magnetic field and voila—dancing lights.  Scientists say looking at this data will help them understand why the outer gas giants have higher heat than their distance from the sun should allow for.