HEIC: Hubble Reveals Latest Portrait of Saturn

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bystander
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HEIC: Hubble Reveals Latest Portrait of Saturn

Post by bystander » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:06 pm

Hubble Reveals Latest Portrait of Saturn
ESA Hubble Photo Release | 2019 Sep 12
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed Saturn on 20 June 2019 as the planet made its closest approach to Earth this year, at approximately 1.36 billion kilometres away.

Since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched, its goal has been to study not only distant astronomical objects, but also the planets within our Solar System. Hubble’s high-resolution images of our planetary neighbours can only be surpassed by pictures taken from spacecraft that actually visit these bodies. However, Hubble has one advantage over space probes; it can look at these objects periodically and observe them over much longer periods than any passing probe could.

Saturn hosts many recognisable features, most notably its trademark ring system, which is now tilted towards Earth. This gives us a magnificent view of its bright icy structure. Hubble resolves numerous ringlets and the fainter inner rings. Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens first identified the rings in 1655 and thought they were a continuous disk encircling the planet, but we now know them to be composed of orbiting particles of ice and dust. Though all of the gas giants boast rings, Saturn’s are the largest and most spectacular. ...

Saturn's Rings Shine in Hubble's Latest Portrait
NASA | GSFC | STScI | HubbleSite | 2019 Sep 12
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