Hubble Views Saturn (2004)

Hubble's exquisite optics, coupled with the high resolution of its Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), allow it to take breathtaking pictures of Saturn. Hubble camera exposures in four filters (blue, blue-green, green, and red) were combined into this image, to render colors similar to what the eye would see through a telescope focused on Saturn. The subtle pastel colors of ammonia-methane clouds trace a variety of atmospheric dynamics. Saturn displays its familiar banded structure, and haze and clouds of various altitudes. Like Jupiter, all bands are parallel to Saturn's equator. Even the magnificent rings, at nearly their maximum tilt toward Earth, show subtle hues, which trace chemical differences in their icy composition.

Credits: NASA, ESA and E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona)