Even for those of us who aren’t completely au fait with astronomy, Saturn is the planet remembered by everyone because of its distinctive rings.
However, that does not mean it isn’t still a mystery.
Saturn has flummoxed many people, even the experts by changing colour. The planets north pole, a huge area bigger than earth, has drastically changed colour.
Boffins have managed to monitor its changing shade because of a probe that has been orbiting the planet for more than a decade, called the Cassini Imaging Team.
Looking at images sent back to earth from Cassini in 2012, the pole, which is a huge hexagonal shape, was a blue shade then.
However, the planet seems to have decided on a blingy new feel or makeover as, over the past four years, this area has changed to a bright gold hue.
After the images were released by the Cassini team, there was much speculation, with experts saying the colour change could all be down to haze particles cumulating in that part of the planet.
While it may seem like an intriguing mystery, it is not the first time this colour change has happened on the planet Saturn.
Between the years 1995 and 2009, Saturn’s north pole grew increasingly darker in shade.
After much deliberation, scientists said the most likely explanation was because less sunlight was reaching the planet and reacting with its atmosphere.
Now, however, that the northern pole is moving back towards the sun, it appears the reverse is happening.
An increasing amount of light is igniting photochemical reactions and creating a beautiful bright golden haze.
A statement from NASA explained: “The color change is thought to be an effect of Saturn’s seasons. In particular, the change from a bluish color to a more golden hue may be due to the increased production of photochemical hazes in the atmosphere as the north pole approaches summer solstice in May 2017.”
While some doom mongers say that these colour changes are the signs of huge problems, it looks as if we are simply learning more about Saturn’s natural seasonal changes.
It is likely that it will take decades, if not centuries, to completely understand this process. Research will need to be passed down from generation to generation.
However, in the meantime, we can still look up and appreciate Saturn as a beautiful piece of our solar system.