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Richard Spear
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Saturn's blue Polar Vortex, taken by Cassini on Apr 26 2017 during its daring dive between Saturn and its rings. Processed by me. This is a true-color image!

Let's get to the burning question: Why is Saturn's North Pole BLUE?!?!

Well, first, Saturn's far larger polar hexagon has exhibited a notable change in color, going from bluish to gold in the past couple of years. This is due to Saturn's north pole turning sunward (ie, it's becoming summer in Saturn's north). This caused an increase in haze in its atmosphere, which caused a change in its hue.

Now, the blue eye! Saturn's polar hexagon is a giant storm, and the blue eye is like the eye of a storm, where skies would be clear. So what you are seeing in here is Rayleigh scattering---the same reason Earth's skies are blue. So, basically, physics ;)

Here's a blog post by Phil Plait on the daring dive, and in it, you'll find my processed image, as well as the guide I used to process mine: http://www.blastr.com/2017-4-28/cassinis-first-deep-dive-above-saturns-clouds

Here's another blog post by Tom Yulsman featuring my image, as well as an image Jason Major processed (he's way better than I am at this), where you'll find a cool GIF showing you the RGB frames, followed by the image you get when you put them together (and tweak it a bit): http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2017/04/28/first-true-color-images-of-saturn-taken-during-cassini-close-dive-to-saturn/#.WQOB89LyvIU
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This galaxy--with its bright bursts of star formation--blends into the background somewhat thanks to the gloriously bright star hogging the limelight next to it. Details: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2017/hubbles-bright-shining-lizard-star
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This unprocessed image shows features in Saturn's atmosphere from closer than ever before. The view was captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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Archaeology shocker: Study claims humans reached the Americas 130,000 years ago

Some 130,000 years ago, scientists say, a mysterious group of ancient people visited the coastline of what is now Southern California. More than 100,000 years before they were supposed to have arrived in the Americas, these unknown people used five heavy stones to break the bones of a mastodon. They cracked open femurs to suck out the marrow and, using the rocks as hammers, scored deep notches in the bone. When finished, they abandoned the materials in the soft, fine soil; one tusk planted upright in the ground like a single flag in the archaeological record. Then the people vanished.

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