X-rays from Saturn Pose Puzzles

Chandra_83_1024

chandra_83 March 8th, 2004

Credit: X-ray: NASA/U. Hamburg/J.Ness et al; Optical: NASA/STScI

Chandra's image of Saturn shows that its X-radiation is concentrated along the equator. The X-ray spectrum, or the distribution of X-rays according to energy, was found to be similar to that of X-rays from the Sun. This indicates that the X-radiation is due to the reflection of solar X-rays by Saturn's atmosphere. The optical image of Saturn is also due to the reflection of light from the Sun - visible wavelength light in this case - but the two images obviously have dramatic differences. The optical image is much brighter and shows the beautiful ring structures, which were not detected in X-rays. These differences occur because the Sun emits about a million times more power in visible light than in X-rays, and X-rays reflect much less efficiently from Saturn's atmosphere and rings.

Image Source: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2004/saturn/

Curator: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Cambridge, MA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html

View Options

Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Saturn
Subject - Solar System
Planet > Type > Gas Giant
Planet > Ring
Planet > Satellite > Feature > Atmosphere

Distance

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_red Chandra (ACIS) X-ray 2.48 nm
Arrow_left_green Chandra (ACIS) X-ray 1.77 nm
Arrow_left_blue Chandra (ACIS) X-ray 1.38 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble (ACS) Optical (H-alpha) 658.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble (ACS) Optical (V-band) 550.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue Hubble (ACS) Optical (B-band) 439.0 nm
Spectrum_xray1
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Chandra_83_1280
×
ID
83
Subject Category
A.1.1.2   A.1.5   A.1.4.1.2  
Subject Name
Saturn
Credits
X-ray: NASA/U. Hamburg/J.Ness et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
Release Date
2004-03-08
Lightyears
1.27e-4
Redshift
1.27e-4
Reference Url
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2004/saturn/
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Chandra, Chandra, Chandra, Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
ACIS, ACIS, ACIS, ACS, ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Red, Green, Blue, Red, Green, Blue
Band
X-ray, X-ray, X-ray, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
-, -, -, H-alpha, V-band, B-band
Central Wavelength
2.48, 1.77, 1.38, 658, 550, 439
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Chandra X-ray Observatory
URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
Address
60 Garden St.
City
Cambridge
State/Province
MA
Postal Code
02138
Country
USA
Rights
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html
Publisher
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Publisher ID
chandra
Resource ID
saturn_comp.tif
Metadata Date
2012-03-21T14:34:59-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
×

 

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

×

There is no distance meta data in this image.