Hubble was used to observe Saturn and its rings on July 4, 2020, when the gas giant was approximately 1.35 billion km (839 million miles) from Earth.
The researchers found several small atmospheric storms which, unlike the epic storms raging for centuries on Jupiter, are "are transient features that appear to come and go with each yearly Hubble observation", according to the scientists.
Saturn's yellowish-brown colour is due to the atmosphere majorly consisting of hydrogen and helium with some ammonia, methane, water vapour, and hydrocarbons. It is expected that the color composition might be a result of heat due to increased sunlight.
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a new and gorgeous image of the planet Saturn, taken during the northern hemisphere's summer.
Think your friends would be interested? Alternatively, increased sunlight can also change the amounts of photochemical haze produced which might be the cause of the red haze.
To this day, how and when Saturn's rings took shape remains one of the biggest mysteries. However, other competing theories state that they may have formed during the age of our dinosaurs. Conversely, the just-now-visible south pole has a blue hue, reflecting changes in Saturn's winter hemisphere. "Many astronomers agree that there is no satisfactory theory that explains how rings could have formed within just the past few hundred million years". This project aims at knowing and understanding the atmospheric dynamics of the solar system, including the evolution of gases.
"It's fantastic that even over a few years, we're seeing seasonal changes on Saturn", Dr. Simon said.
In this case, the mission, dubbed OPAL or Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy is tracking shifting weather patterns in the planet's atmosphere. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.