December 3, 2021

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Hubble has captured new images of the planets in the outer solar system

Hubble has captured new images of the planets in the outer solar system

The telescope that has been in operation since 1990 is providing images to our neighbors around our star. And they see the hexagram of Saturn.

The Hubble telescope was not working properly when it was launched in 1990. It soon became apparent that the main mirror had failed and the images that Hubble produced became muddy.

This was fixed in 1993 and since then the telescope has provided very sharp images of galaxies several million or billions of light years away.

Here you can see the same figure before (on the left) and after the 1993 repair. This is the M100 galaxy that is about 55 million light-years away.

The main reason for placing the telescope outside our atmosphere is precisely because it is outside our atmosphere. Light from distant stars and planets is not disturbed by the atmosphere. At the same time, the light in the infrared or ultraviolet part of the spectrum is not filtered, so Hubble can see more than one telescope on Earth.

And sometimes astronomers point the telescope at our own. These are the latest images of the planets in the outer solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

These are the planets located outside the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Mars is the closest planet to us from the outside, about 380 million km away when they are the two closest planets.

Outside of Neptune, which is the most distant planet, there are more than 4.3 billion km.

Here you can read about the new James Webb Space Telescope and why it is so long overdue.

annual photos

This is part of a long-term project that takes pictures of the planets every year, to see what changes in gaseous planets from year to year. All the data recorded by scientists about the planet can be found on the pages of the project, It is called opal.

Jupiter, seen in September 2021.

Jupiter, seen in September 2021.

Jupiter is the first to appear, and several new storms have appeared in the atmosphere, according to NASA. Red and oval storms north of the equator are new.

The Giant Red Storm, called the Great Red Spot, is still present. It’s been hundreds of years old, and researchers recently painted it How to stick deeply.

Gas giant planets such as Saturn and Jupiter do not have a solid surface, but are made up of gas that gets denser and gets denser as it retracts into the atmosphere. Thus, they act almost like balls of fluid, and storms and winds can blow as unhindered out of the terrain as they do on Earth.

Although the site is still really huge, with a width of about 15,000 km, it has shrunk significantly since observations from the 19th century. Then its width was more than 40,000 km, According to this study from 2019.

It’s still large enough to devour Earth about 12,700 kilometers in diameter, but why it’s shrinking is a mystery, according to the study.

Saturn

Saturn’s rings are clearly visible in the image of the second largest planet in the solar system, Saturn. You can clearly see how Saturn casts a shadow on the rings, which consist mostly of ice and stone. Here you can read about how much the rings weigh, It is an important part of understanding how episodes appear.

This is what Saturn looked like on September 12, 2021.

This is what Saturn looked like on September 12, 2021.

In the image, you can see a hexagonal storm in the far north of Saturn. It was discovered more than 40 years ago, but no one knows why it has such a regular shape. You can read more about this storm at forskning.no.

The hexagonal storm seen by the Cassini probe in 2014. It's also large enough to fit Earth inside.

The hexagonal storm seen by the Cassini probe in 2014. It’s also large enough to fit Earth inside.

Neptune and Uranus

The other two gas giants are more mysterious, because they are so far away from us. But astronomers can still look at things that have changed.

Uranus was seen on October 25, 2021. You can clearly see the white field above the pole.

Uranus was seen on October 25, 2021. You can clearly see the white field above the pole.

Uranus shows a very clear bright region above one pole, which has been visible in the images for many years, but varies with the seasons. There may be an increase in ultraviolet radiation from the Sun at certain stretches from the orbit to the orbit of Uranus causing this, According to NASA.

The farthest planet, since we don’t count Pluto, is Neptune. Here, astronomers see another storm that was discovered in 2018.

Set Neptune on September 7.  You can glimpse the dark spot in the upper right part of the planet.

Set Neptune on September 7. You can glimpse the dark spot in the upper right part of the planet.

This is one of several dark spots that have disappeared and appeared on Neptune since astronomers were able to see detailed images of the distant planet, according to the New York Times. The first dark spot was discovered by Voyager 2 which flew by it in 1989, According to the Hubble website.

This new storm is about 7,500 kilometers long. By comparison, Norway is about 1,750 kilometers from south to north, According to SNL.

This project will continue in the coming years, to form a picture of what is normal for the weather and in the atmospheres of the giant planets of the solar system.

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