The Hubble Space Telescope has been launched to Earthorbit in 1990 and is still operational. It is designed to study galaxies and other distant objects. However, once a year, the telescope spends some time to look at closer objects - the planets of the solar system located behind the asteroid belt: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. But he does this not only to once again show their external beauty, but also to enrich the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program with new data. Comparing photographs of planets over the years, scientists can notice the changes that occur on them. Let's see the images from Hubble for 2021 and find out what changes have occurred on the planets, which he periodically observes?
- 1 Exploring Saturn and Jupiter
- 2 Advantages of the Hubble telescope
- 2.1 New photo of Jupiter
- 2.2 New photo of Saturn
- 2.3 New photo of Neptune
- 2.4 New photograph of Uranus
Exploring Saturn and Jupiter
For starters, it is worth noting that the Hubble telescopetakes far from the best pictures of Saturn and Jupiter. The fact is that specially designed devices have already worked on these planets (and some are still working). So, the Cassini probe, which burned up in the planet's atmosphere in 2017, was engaged in the study of Saturn and its rings. During his work, he managed to take many good photographs.
And the spacecraft Juno is engaged in the study of Jupiter - in July of this year it completed the main mission and is now engaged in the study of its satellites.
Advantages of the Hubble telescope
But the Hubble telescope is the only onea device that can take good photos of both Saturn with Jupiter and Neptune and Uranus. You may notice that the images of the last two planets are slightly blurry - which is odd considering that Hubble manages to capture highly detailed images of even very distant galaxies. But it is worth considering that galaxies are enormous, while Neptune and Uranus can be compared to tiny grains of sand in the Universe.
Based on all this, it is not surprising that forIt was the Hubble telescope that was chosen for the OPAL program. It was thanks to him that we once learned that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter sometimes changes shape and hue. Also, it was Hubble who was able to photograph the aurora on Saturn, as well as notice a dark storm on the surface of Neptune and clouds on Uranus. New images of these four planets were taken in September and October 2021. What interesting things can you see on them?
Interesting fact: in 2021, the Hubble telescope broke many times, but NASA managed to fix it
New photo of Jupiter
A fresh snapshot of Jupiter was taken by Hubble 4September. We already know perfectly well about the main feature of this planet: storms are constantly raging on it, because of which the bands of clouds rotate in different directions. In 2021, several new small red spots appeared above Jupiter's equator. These are new storms that scientists believe are temporary. The large red spot, meanwhile, turned brown and, in addition to this, attracted several more small storms.
New photo of Saturn
A new photo of Saturn was taken on September 12 -it shows the northern hemisphere of the planet. Like Earth, Saturn is slightly tilted, so the seasons change on it. True, a year on this planet lasts 29 Earth years, which is why one season lasts 7.5 years. Fall reigns on Saturn in 2021, and as temperatures change, the color of the clouds in the hemispheres changes - they look different than last year.
New photo of Neptune
The snapshot of Neptune was taken on September 7th.In the southern hemisphere of the planet, it is now spring and it will not pass soon - the seasons change only every 40 Earth years. There are dark eddies on the surface of Neptune, which are areas of high pressure that arise in mid-latitudes and then travel towards the equator. In the resulting image, the vortex can be seen in the upper left corner of the planet. If you look closely, you can see a dark area near the South Pole.
New photograph of Uranus
Uranus was last shot - photo taken 25October. Since it is also far from the Sun, one season there lasts 21 Earth years. At the moment, it is spring in the filmed northern hemisphere. In general, there is nothing particularly interesting in the photo except for the polar cap, which appears as a huge white area. Scientists still do not know what exactly it is about. It may have formed due to the interaction of chemicals in the atmosphere of Uranus with sunlight. Sometimes the white becomes richer, probably due to a change in the transparency of the atmosphere.
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As you can see, the Hubble telescope is still excellent.works and shares interesting photos. In terms of power, only the James Webb Telescope can be compared with it, which has finally been launched into low-earth orbit and will soon begin work. You can read more about it in this article.