Scientists may have gotten closer to figuring out the source of Saturn’s polar aurora. Like our own aurorae, Saturn’s arise from charged particles hurled along the disturbed magnetic field lines around the planet, interacting with the gases in the planet’s atmosphere and giving off light via atomic excitation. New research, which you can read more about at io9, may have unlocked just how those magnetic fields are disrupted.
Whereas our own Northern and Southern Lights (aurora borealis and australis, respectively), shine green and red, here Saturn’s pulse brightly in the ultraviolet range.
Bonus: Want to know more about auroras? Then watch this video!