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Hubble lights up Saturn’s aurorae

12 Apr 2019, 13:00 UTC
Hubble lights up Saturn’s aurorae ESA/Hubble, NASA, A. Simon (GSFC) and the OPAL Team, J. DePasquale (STScI), L. Lamy (Observatoire de Paris)

Have you ever seen an aurora?

I haven’t. Well, not really; twice in my life I’ve seen a dull glow on the northern horizon, but seeing a full-blown shimmering curtain of light sweeping down from the heavens is still something that’s — hopefully — still in my future.

Part of the problem is my location. And no, I don’t mean Colorado, though we’re just far enough south that it’s really rare to see one here.

What I mean is Earth. Yeah, we get our skies lighting up near the poles every now and again, but if you really want to see an aurora, you need to move a bit farther away from Colorado than that. Like, say, Saturn.

Or, you could save yourself a billion kilometers or so and just let Hubble spy the ringed planet for you, because it has an excellent view when Saturn lights up:

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