'Game-changing' Saturn northern light study

The most powerful telescope ever will provide an astronomer a "game-changing" picture of Saturn's northern lights.


Dr. James O'Donoghue of the University of Reading is part of a teams awarded JWST time.


They will monitor Uranus and try to understand the planet's northern lights.


Leading the study team, Dr. Henrik Melin of the University of Leicester School of Physics, said it might "fundamentally shape our understanding" of both worlds.


The magnetic field of a planet funnels very energetic charged particles into its atmosphere, causing northern lights.


Saturn and Uranus' aurora origins are unclear, but the study tries to clarify them.


For Uranus, they want to know if the aurora is created by the solar wind like on Earth, internal sources like Jupiter, or something in between like Saturn.


Dr. O'Donoghue also had a "secret hope" that could help scientists understand planet rotation periods (day duration).


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