Saturn’s auroras put on a dazzling display of light.
Scientists first observed Saturn’s auroras in 1979. Decades later, these shimmering ribbons of light still fascinate. For one thing they’re magnificently tall, rising hundreds of miles above the planet’s poles. And unlike on Earth where bright displays fizzle after only a few hours, auroras on Saturn can shine for days. Auroras are produced when speeding particles accelerated by the sun’s energy collide with gases in a planet’s atmosphere. The gases fluoresce, emitting flashes of light at different wavelengths. Watch the video (1.usa.gov/IFW5o7) to see an edge-on view of Saturn’s northern and southern lights courtesy of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.