Saturn is the chic fashionista supermodel of the solar system. It wears its rings like it’s strutting down the runway of the cosmos. It’s a beautiful planet, and the Hubble Space Telescope know how to make it look its best. A new Hubble portrait of the ringed planet shows some things change and some stay the same. A large storm spotted near the North Pole in 2018 is now gone, but an enigmatic hexagonal jetstream system at the top of the planet is still going strong.
Hubble is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency and both agencies issued releases on the new portrait on Thursday. “This gives us a magnificent view of its bright icy structure,” ESA said. “Hubble resolves numerous ringlets and the fainter inner rings.”
Said NASA, “This image reveals an unprecedented clarity only seen previously in snapshots taken by NASA spacecraft visiting the distant planet.” The now-finished Cassini mission got up close and personal with Saturn before destroying itself in the planet’s atmosphere in 2017.
Scientists will use this Hubble image to track changes in the planet over time. The rest of us can just stare at it in awe and be reminded of the wonders of our solar system.
Originally published Sept. 12, 8:41 a.m. PT.