February 16, 2005
These images of Saturn's polar aurora were taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on Jan. 24, 26, and 28. Each of the three images of Saturn combines ultraviolet images of the south polar region (to show the auroral emissions) with visible wavelength images of the planet and rings. The Hubble images were obtained during a joint campaign with NASA's Cassini spacecraft to measure the solar wind approaching Saturn and the Saturn kilometric radio emissions. The strong brightening of the aurora on January 26 corresponded with the recent arrival of a large disturbance in the solar wind. These results are presented in three papers, which appear in the Feb. 17 issue of the journal Nature.
Credit: NASA/Hubble/Z. Levay and J. Clarke