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Quantumaniac is where it’s at - and by ‘it’ I mean awesome.

Over here, I post a ton of astronomy / math / general science in an attempt to make your brain feel good. My aim is to be as informative as possible, while posting fascinating things that hopefully enlighten us both a little to the mysteries of our truly wondrous universe(s?). Plus, how would you know if the blog exists or not unless you observe it?

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Saturn’s Rave

Looks like there’s a rave on Saturn. The (top) ultraviolet image of the southern polar region of Saturn, with its rave-like aurora, was taken on January 28, 2004 by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Imaging Spectrograph. 

On Earth, auroral storms may develop in as little as ten minutes and last for no more than a few hours. On Saturn, however, the rave lives on - it can last for days.

Saturn’s auroral storms are primarily caused by the pressure of solar wind,  a stream of charged particles from the Sun. When the aurora becomes brighter and more powerful, the ring shrinks in diameter.

Unfortunately, the ultraviolet representation is a little misleading - it does not properly represent what you would see if you were flying around up there. The above drawings are an artist’s conception what one might see, but we can be fairly confident that if the ultraviolet was excited that the visible spectra would be excited as well. 

Sources: 1, 2

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