Something strange appeared in the rings of Saturn: it was noticed by the Hubble Space Telescope (photo)
The Hubble telescope made a new image of Saturn and its ring system and saw an inexplicable phenomenon.
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New images of Saturn by the Hubble Space Telescope show two spots on the left side of the image in the gas giant’s “B ring”.
Saturn has several rings, of which the “B ring” is the largest and brightest. The spots that are visible in the image scientists call “spokes” and they appear when the planet approaches the moment of equinox. The reason for the appearance of the spokes, as well as their seasonal variability, has yet to be fully explained by scientists.
Like the Earth, Saturn has an axial tilt, and therefore there are also 4 seasons here, but each season here lasts about 7 Earth years. This is due to the fact that Saturn makes a full revolution around the Sun in 29 Earth years. Scientists believe that unusual formations in the rings of Saturn appear before the equinox on this planet, and then disappear. According to scientists, the next equinox on Saturn will come on May 6, 2025, and until then, the mysterious spots in the rings will become more and more visible.
So far, scientists do not know exactly what these “spokes” are, which are most likely an accumulation of dust particles. The most common theory says that these spots in the rings of Saturn appear due to the interaction of the planet’s magnetic field and the solar wind. Scientists believe that the smallest particles are charged and temporarily rise above the rest of the larger ice particles in the rings. Therefore, they stand out in the form of dark, and sometimes light spots.
Mysterious spots in the rings of Saturn were first discovered by the Voyager 1 spacecraft back in the early 80s of the last century. They were then seen by the Cassini spacecraft during the equinox on Saturn in 2009.
The Hubble Space Telescope continues to monitor changes on Saturn and its ring system, and new observations may help scientists better understand these mysterious features in the gas giant’s rings. So far, scientists do not know for sure whether the same phenomena can appear in the rings of other planets in the solar system.
As for the rings that surround celestial bodies in our star system, Focus has already written that astronomers have discovered rings around the dwarf planet Quaoar, which is located at the edge of the solar system.
Focus also wrote that the Webb Space Telescope photographed the rings around the asteroid Chariklo, which revolves around the Sun behind Saturn.