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The Hubble Telescope Gave Us an Incredible Look at Saturn's Rings and Moons

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    Epic Flyby

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    Hubble has a great advantage over probes, because though it may be farther away, it is able to periodically track and photograph a planet, and observe them over much longer periods than a flyby that is a one-off. 

    The reason the image is particularly bright, is that Saturn recently passed closer than it ever had to Earth, illuminating the planet and offering us a look at it through the Hubble that is a rare find.

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    Activate Moons!

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    The Hubble also managed to catch the moons of Saturn while in their orbit. Tethys, Janus, Mimas, Enceladus and Rhea are the 5 moons of Saturn, with Rhea having the largest and most extreme of the orbits.

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    Like an Oblong Merry-Go-Round

    Planet - Saturn & Moons 19-20 June 2019 OTethys Janus Mimas Enceladus Elagsad Tme hours Rhea
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    Hexagonal Storm... What?

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    This storm was first noticed in 1981, and was continually photographed on top of the northern pole of Saturn, which is believed to be made up of ammonia ice. It has been one of Saturn's most striking features for decades. Four Earths could comfortably fit inside the hexagonal storm, and more interestingly there is no counterpart at the planet's Southern pole.

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    Aerial of the Hexagonal Storm

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    This is a real image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft as it passed by Saturn in 2004. The hexagonal-shaped storm looks even more amazing from above. Scientists are unsure if it is a strangely shaped storm, or a massive tower of the aforementioned ammonia ice with a huge storm within it. The jury is out for now, at least until we can reach the planet's surface. 

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    New Images With Surprising Changes

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    The new images revealed an interesting development with Saturn. The famous storm had disappeared in the images from 2019. Though storms in that shape form there all the time, it will be interesting to see what images we get from Saturn in 2020. 

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