In the summer of 2018, the planets Saturn and Mars, first one, then the other are in opposition to the Earth. During this astronomical event the planets come very close to the Earth, which allows astronomers to conduct their detailed observations. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (“Hubble”) took advantage of this configuration and captured both planets as part of an ongoing campaign to observe the planets of the solar system.
Since the launch of the Hubble Observatory into space, the targets of its observations have become not only distant astronomical objects, but also the planets of the solar system. High-resolution images of our planetary neighbors, made with the help of the Hubble, are inferior only to images made with the help of space vehicles flying past a particular planet. However, images taken with Hubble have one very important advantage – the telescope can observe objects of the solar system periodically, for longer time intervals, compared to any other spacecraft flying past the planet.
The picture of Saturn, presented to the left in this image, was made on June 6, shortly before Saturn’s confrontation, which occurred on June 27. A picture of Mars showing an extensive sandstorm raging on the planet was made on July 18.