Spying Saturn's Light Show: Anomalous aurora dazzles scientists

11:55am, February 16, 2005

Among the solar system's auroras, the dancing lights that paint Saturn's skies show a distinct style.

Three reports in the Feb. 17 Nature describe a choreographed experiment conducted 13 months ago, in which the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and the Cassini spacecraft, then en route to Saturn, both examined Saturn's south pole. Hubble took ultraviolet pictures of Saturn's auroras while Cassini recorded radio emissions from the same regions of the planet. Cassini also measured the solar wind, the flow of charged particles from the sun.

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