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Photo: NASA, ESA, STScI, M. Mutchler (STScI), A. Simon (GSFC) and the OPAL Team, J. DePasquale (STScI)

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured new photos of Saturn and Mars, taken shortly before each was at its closest point to Earth, referred to as being in opposition. This occurs when the Sun, Earth and an outer planet are lined up, with Earth directly in between the two. The outer planet is fully lit up by the Sun as seen from Earth, according to the ESA.

The details: Opposition allows astronomers to notice details on the planet's surface more clearly. The image of Saturn shows its ring system tilted towards Earth, which put its rings and the gaps between them on full display — the rings stretch out eight times the radius of the planet. Saturn was in opposition to Earth on June 27, and Mars will be on July 27, the ESA said.

Hubble's image of Mars shows a "gigantic sandstorm enshrouding the entire planet," as well as the planet's white polar ice caps. These images allow astronomers to examine "how cloud patterns and large-scale structures on other planets in our Solar System change over time," the ESA said.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
23 mins ago - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer, but picked up a new rival.

28 mins ago - Health

Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an "Axios on HBO" interview, said he's reluctant to withhold federal funding from states that won't enforce school mask mandates because he doesn't want to hurt students.

Why it matters: Cardona's comments suggest there are limits to how far the Biden administration will go in pressuring states to adopt universal masking — or vaccine mandates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
39 mins ago - Axios on HBO

GOP senator smacks Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told “Axios on HBO” he’s not sure former President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination if he ran in 2024 — a rare voice of criticism from within the party.

  • When I raised the conventional wisdom that Trump would be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in.“
  • I don't know that,” the senator said during our interview in Chalmette, La.