See Video of Saturn Changing Colors as Seasons Change

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: September 18, 2023
© Vadim Sadovski/
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This stunning clip is a video produced by the powerful James Webb Space Telescope. It shows that outer space can be both beautiful and fascinating at the same time. It captures a cooling period on Saturn as the planet heads into a seven and a half year long autumn season. These images were captured during November 2022 by a team from the University of Leicester in the UK. The cooling was caused by a reversal of air flow direction. Scroll down to marvel at the full stunning clip.

What We Know About Saturn

Saturn is a gas giant planet and is the sixth planet from the sun. It is easily identifiable by its icy rings. Some other planets have rings but none of them are as impressive as Saturn’s. They are made up of bits of ice, rock, and dust. This planet is the second largest planet in the solar system second only to Jupiter. It is essentially a massive bowl of mainly hydrogen and helium. Therefore, we would not be able to stand on Saturn even if we could get there! Interestingly, it is very windy on its surface with gusts reaching 250 mph.

This amazing planet experiences seasons because it is tilted at 26.7 degrees in relation to the sun. Because it has a much wider orbit compared to the earth, its seasons last much longer than ours do. It takes 29.4 earth years to orbit the sun and the seasons last years not months. However, it spins on its axis very fast and a day only last for 10 hours and 14 minutes.

Saturn inner structure. Elements of this image furnished by NASA
Saturn is made up of mainly hydrogen and helium.

©Vadim Sadovski/

What the Telescope Footage Shows

The video shows the thermal emissions at the planet’s North Pole represented by the bright blue color. Yellow represents the warmer parts of Saturn’s atmosphere. The purple areas represent the cooler and darker parts of the planet’s atmosphere. It is also easy to see Saturn’s rings. In the animation, physical light observations are also shown and act as a background to the telescopic images.

The footage captures a 932-mile-wide polar cyclone that’s evident at Saturn’s north pole! Around this, there is a region of warm gases as they gather during the spring in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

Saturn was an appropriate early testing challenge for the James Webb Space Telescope. The $10 billion dollar equipment was challenged by the bright rotating planet. Planning for capturing these images has taken around eight years and the results are a career highlight for many of the scientists working on the project!  

Watch the Stunning Footage Below

The Featured Image

Saturn - planets of the Solar system in high quality. Science wallpaper. Elements furnished by NASA
© Vadim Sadovski/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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