The Hubble space telescope captured the best pictures of the planets Saturn and Mars. These pictures can only be surpassed by the images taken by the space crafts visiting the planet.
In 2018, when Mars and Saturn are in opposition to earth, Hubble took the breathtaking images of these planets. An opposition as such occurs when the Sun, Earth and an outer planet are lined up, with Earth sitting in between the Sun and the outer planet.
This makes the planet full visible with sunlight from the earth. This is also the closest distance that any planet could get to the earth.
The Nasa/ESA Hubble space telescope utilized this opportunity and took some of the best pictures of the planets Mars and Saturn.
Hubble captures Saturn
Hubble was used to observing Saturn just a month before this opposition with the closest possible distance of 1.4 billion kilometers from Earth. The taken images show Saturn’s ring system near its maximum tilt toward Earth.
Hubble’s new images reveal a hexagonal pattern around the North Pole. It’s a stable and persistent wind feature discovered during the flyby of the Voyager 1 space probe in 1981.
To the south of this feature, a string of bright clouds is visible which can be considered as remnants of a storm.
We’re also able to capture Mars just 13 days before the opposition. Mars got almost as close as 57.6 million kilometers from Earth. This is its closest approach since 2003.
These new images of the Red planet are dominated by a gigantic sandstorm. Although polar caps are visible, the images are still blurry with the storm.
These observations recorded by Hubble when compared with previous observations could help researchers understand the cloud formation on other planets.
Thanks to Hubble we are able to observe planets for a longer period of time than space probes.