Tagged: Cassini Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on July 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Cassini, Magnetic Rope' observed for the first time between Saturn and the Sun,   

    From UCL: ” ‘Magnetic Rope’ observed for the first time between Saturn and the Sun” 

    UCL bloc

    University College London

    6 July 2016
    No writer credit

    This post is dedicated to J.T., who just accessed social media.

    A twisted magnetic field structure, previously never seen before at Saturn, has now been detected for the first time, using instrumentation built at UCL and Imperial College.

    When the Sun’s magnetic field interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field (the magnetosphere), a complex process occurs called magnetic reconnection which can twist the field into a helical shape.

    2
    No image caption. No image credit

    These twisted helically structured magnetic fields are called flux ropes or “flux transfer events” (FTEs) and are observed at Earth and even more commonly at Mercury. The conditions that allow FTEs to be generated at a planet worsen with distance from the Sun, however they have been observed at all the planets out to Jupiter.

    The observation of this phenomenon at Saturn has been elusive. Searches have been undertaken to find an FTE with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, with reports published of none being found. Up until now….

    NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini Spacecraft
    NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini Spacecraft

    The Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004, and after many years analyzing the data collected, Cassini has observed the first FTE at Saturn. The observed magnetic signature was successfully compared to that of a model to show that Cassini indeed observed a flux rope at this giant magnetosphere, and that the spacecraft passed close to the structure’s center. It is also estimated that the flux rope could be up to 8300 kilometers wide.

    “Contrary to previous ideas about Saturn’s magnetosphere being unlike its terrestrial counterpart, these findings reveal that Saturn at times behaves and interacts with the Sun in much the same way as Earth.” Jamie Jasinski, UCL Space and Climate Physics PhD graduate now based at the University of Michigan, and lead author of the new paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters. Click here for link to paper.

    This not only shows that magnetic reconnection occurs at Saturn but also that Saturn’s magnetic field can at times interact with the Sun in much the same way as at Earth.

    The analysis was completed using a particle spectrometer built at UCL and a magnetometer built at Imperial College, both of which are onboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

    The Cassini mission will end in November 2017, when the spacecraft will be steered into the planet to study it, before disintegrating in Saturn’s thick atmosphere.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    UCL campus

    UCL was founded in 1826 to open up higher education in England to those who had been excluded from it – becoming the first university in England to admit women students on equal terms with men in 1878.

    Academic excellence and research that addresses real-world problems inform our ethos to this day and are central to our 20-year strategy.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:49 pm on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cassini, ,   

    From NASA JPL and CalTech: “Cassini Captures Images and Sounds of Saturn Storm” 

    July 06, 2011

    “Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft now have the first-ever, up-close details of a Saturn storm that is eight times the surface area of Earth.

    On Dec. 5, 2010, Cassini first detected the storm that has been raging ever since. It appears approximately 35 degrees north latitude of Saturn. Pictures from Cassini’s imaging cameras show the storm wrapping around the entire planet covering approximately 2 billion square miles (4 billion square kilometers).

    i1
    The huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn’s northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

    The storm is about 500 times larger than the biggest storm previously seen by Cassini during several months from 2009 to 2010. Scientists studied the sounds of the new storm’s lightning strikes and analyzed images taken between December 2010 and February 2011. Data from Cassini’s radio and plasma wave science instrument showed the lightning flash rate as much as 10 times more frequent than during other storms monitored since Cassini’s arrival to Saturn in 2004. The data appear in a paper published this week in the journal Nature.”

    See the full article here.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 599 other followers

%d bloggers like this: