Aurora and Saturn

January 15, 2004


Provided by: Jean-Marie Maillard
Summary authors & editors: Jean-Marie Maillard; Jim Foster

This photo of the northern lights and Saturn was captured on the evening of October 30, 2003 over Waremme, Belgium. The blue color gives a poetic mood to the picture and results from the type of film that was used (Kodak Ektachrome infrared slide film, without filter). Saturn can be seen rising in the constellation Gemini -- the bright object at the lower right center of the photo. Saturn was in opposition on December 31, 2003 (on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun and so directly overhead at midnight), and it'll remain high in the night sky throughout a good portion of the winter. The "ringed planet" is now closer to Earth than it will be until December of 2032.

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