The Cassini spacecraft at Saturn recently observed a light show on the planet's southern hemisphere: auroras, glittering in the gaseous atmosphere.
Similar to auroras on Earth, Saturn's auroras are formed by charged particles raining down on the planet, colliding with the atmosphere and creating light, according to a statement from NASA. The charged particles come from the solar wind, a steady stream of material emanating from the sun.
A video from NASA shows the "ghostly curtains of light" billowing through Saturn's atmosphere. The black-and-white video was captured on July 20, in visible light. The technicolor photograph that serves as the backdrop in the video was taken in 2008 in near-infrared light, and is false-colored to highlight the ring of auroras around the planet's pole. [Cassini's 'Grand Finale' at Saturn: NASA's Plan in Pictures]
Cassini is moving around Saturn, but kept its gaze fixed on the same point during these observations, which lasted more than an hour, according to the statement.