Image credit: NASA/JPL.

This is a picture of Saturn - the iconic ringed planet - as you've never seen before. For those of you familiar with astronomy, you’ve already figured out that this picture of Saturn is taken in infrared (we look at objects at this wavelength to discern the heat signature of said objects) by the Keck telescope, which can be found in Hawaii (on Mauna Kea)

 

 

Saturn pictured at multiple wavelengths (Credit: ESO/Univ. of Oxford/T. Barry)

The brighter the area, the hotter it is. You’ll notice Saturn’s south pole has a very bright dot (which means the south polar region is hotter than the equator). This is likely due to convection processes at work inside the planet’s immense atmosphere.

 


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