Saturn's aurora


Beautiful lights sometimes seen in the night sky in northern and southern regions of the Earth are caused by the interaction of the solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the Sun - and our planet's magnetic field and atmosphere.

The Earth's magnetic field traps some of the particles and sends them on a collision course with molecules in the atmosphere. As a result of these repeated, tiny crashes, energy is released in the form of light.

Auroras have been observed on other planets such as Saturn and Jupiter.

Photo: Saturn's aurora taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (NASA, ESA, J. Clarke and G. Bacon)

Watch and listen to clips from past programmes TV clips [2]

Saturn's aurora

About Aurora

The solar wind's assault on the Earth can be easily seen.

About Aurora

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