GreenTracker| Scientists have waited years for Saturn to dim enough for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to capture images of lightning on the planet. In an interplanetary first, scientists have married radio wave data with visible photos of lightning, confirming that extremely powerful storms are occurring on the planet.
Since Cassini’s arrival at Saturn in 2004, it has been difficult to see the lightning because the planet is very bright and reflective. Sunlight shining off Saturn’s enormous rings made even the night side of Saturn brighter than a full-moon night on Earth. Equinox, the period around August 2009 when the sun shone directly over the planet’s equator, finally brought the needed darkness. During equinox, the sun lit the rings edge-on only and left the bulk of the rings in shadow. via Science Daily