Hubble captured the image on July 4, when the giant planet was 839 million miles from Earth, according to a statement from NASA released Thursday.
It shows what summertime is like in Saturn’s northern hemisphere, which is pointed toward Earth, and a slight reddish haze can be seen over the area.
Scientists say this may be the result of heating due to increased sunlight, which could affect circulation or the ice content of the atmosphere.
Another possibility is that more sunlight leads to changes in how much photochemical haze is produced.
“It’s amazing that even over a few years, we’re seeing seasonal changes on Saturn,” said lead investigator Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Look closely at the photo and you’ll notice a blue hue at the south pole, which is due to changes in the planet’s winter atmosphere.
You can also see two of Saturn’s moons in the image: Mimas to the right, and Enceladus at the bottom.
The image is part of a project named Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL), which aims to improve our understanding of atmospheric dynamics and evolution on gas giant planets such as Saturn and Jupiter.
OPAL scientists are looking into weather patterns and storms on Saturn, with various small atmospheric storms noted in this photo.
The picture is also sharp enough to show how the color of certain bands changes slightly each year. Saturn is largely yellow-brown in color due to the fact that the atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium with traces of ammonia, methane, water vapor and hydrocarbons.
You can also see Saturn’s famous rings in incredible detail.
They consist mostly of pieces of ice, but no one really understands how and when they formed.
Many scientists believe they are more than 4 billion years old, the same age as Saturn itself, but others say they only came into being a few hundred million years ago, when dinosaurs walked the Earth.
In April, Hubble celebrated 30 years in space, during which time its images have contributed to a raft of exciting discoveries.
Hubble has enabled astronomers around the world to study black holes, mysterious dark energy, distant galaxies and galactic mergers.
It has observed planets outside of our solar system and where they form around stars, star formation and death, and it’s even spotted previously unknown moons around Pluto.
Not bad for a telescope that was only designed to last 15 years.