Friday , October 23 2020

Final images from Cassini spacecraft –,



Final images from Cassini spacecraft
                Composite of a true color image of Saturn, observed by Cassini in , overlaid with a false color representation of the ultraviolet aurora in the northern hemisphere as observed on August. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute / A. Bader (Lancaster University).             

Researchers are busy analyzing some of the final data sent back from the Cassini spacecraft which has been in orbit around Saturn for more than years until the end of its mission in September 2020.                                                


For the last leg of its journey, Cassini was put on a particularly daring orbit passing between Saturn and its rings which brought it closer to Saturn than ever before. This allowed scientists to obtain images of Saturn’s ultraviolet auroras in unprecedented resolution.

The new observations are detailed in two new studies published inGeophysical Research LettersandJGR: Space Physics.

Saturn’s auroras are generated by the interaction of the solar wind, a stream of energetic particles emitted by the Sun, with Saturn’s rapidly rotating magnetic field. They are located in the planet’s polar regions and known to be highly dynamic, often pulsating and flashing as different dynamic processes occur in the planet’s plasma environment.

Lancaster University Ph.D. student and lead author of the research Alexander Bader said: “Surprisingly many questions revolving around Saturn’s auroras remain unanswered, even after the outstanding success of the Cassini mission.

“This last set of close-up images gives us unique highly detailed views of the small-scale structures which couldn’t be discerned in previous observations by Cassini or the Hubble Space Telescope. We have some ideas about what their origin could be, but there is still a lot of analysis to be done. “

Satellite imagery alone will hardly be enough to unravel the aurora’s mysteries — the energetic particles causing the bright lightshows around Saturn’s poles originate far away from the planet’s surface where magnetic field lines twist and clouds of plasma interact with one another. When located in the right region, Cassini was sometimes embedded in the particle stream connecting the auroras to the magnetosphere.

First analysis of the spacecraft’s particle measurements recorded during these times showed that Saturn’s auroras, like Jupiter’s, are generated by much more energetic particles than Earth’s. However, the underlying physical mechanisms appear to show similarities between all the three.

Even though Cassini’s mission is over, the data it provided remains full of surprises and will continue to help researchers understand the workings of giant planet auroras, especially in combination with Juno observations of Jupiter’s magnetosphere .                                                                                                                                                                 

More information:A. Bader et al, The morphology of Saturn’s aurorae observed during the Cassini Grand Finale,Geophysical Research Letters(085800).DOI:/ GL) ******************************

Bader et al. Energetic Particle Signatures Above Saturn’s Aurorae,JGR: Space Physics

(2020. First published: December (JA) ****************************



Citation:                                                  Final images from Cassini spacecraft (2020, January 22)                                                  retrieved 2020 January 085800                                                  from*********************************- – images-cassini- spacecraft.html                                                                                         

                                            This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no                                             part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.                                                                                     


************************************************************************** (Read More) ********************************************************************

About admin

Check Also

Azerbaijan and Armenia agree to a pause in fighting – CNN, CNN

Azerbaijan and Armenia agree to a pause in fighting – CNN, CNN

(CNN)Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the conflict over the contested enclave of Nagorno Karabakh on Saturday -- one week after truce brokered by Russia fell apart, according to a statement from the foreign ministries of both countries.The new agreement -- set to start at midnight local time (4 p.m. ET Saturday)…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *