Saturday, 25 July 2020 23:36
I wrote – Nuran Khairi:
The stunning images – showing how giant gas rings look redder in the increasing levels of sunlight – are shown.
Astronomers said that the rings of Saturn – seen from 839 million miles from Earth, are so bright in the image that they appear to be “newly snowing”.
They added that Saturn’s atmosphere – which consists primarily of hydrogen and helium, with traces of ammonia, hydrocarbons, methane and water vapor – gives the planet a yellowish-brown color.
However, the reddish fog that appears in the northern hemisphere in the image indicates that in the summer months the amount of the resulting photochemical fog may change – or alternatively change the air cycle and defrost the air.
NASA experts also observed the south pole in the photo – which is blue – reflects
Changes in Saturn’s winter hemisphere.
“It’s surprising that even over a few years, we’re seeing seasonal changes on Saturn,” said planetary scientist Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Researchers said from NASA that the reason behind the existence of concentric rings of Saturn – made from pieces of ice ranging in size from small grains to giant rocks – is still a mystery.
The convention says that the rings are about four billion years old – like the planet itself – although a competing theory suggested instead that the rings were formed only a few hundreds of millions of years ago.