Researchers recorded unusual sounds between Saturn and its satellites

Federico Mansilla
Julio 12, 2018

The Grand Finale of the Cassini mission to Saturn might have resulted in a tragic yet intended conclusion to the spacecraft as it was engulfed by the atmosphere of the second largest planet in our solar system. The field is like a direct circuit between the planet and its Moon where energy flows back and forth, making odd sounds along the way.

Saturn isn't just a lovely planet with its distinct set of rings, it's also a giant electric generator. However, we can convert those radio waves into sound using the same radio we use for communication here on Earth.

In other words, Cassini detected electromagnetic waves in the audio frequency range - and on the ground, we can amplify and play those signals through a speaker.

Moving along the magnetic field lines the plasma particles - electrons and ions - are accelerated and radiate electromagnetic waves, which scientists call plasma waves. However, the Cassini probe was able to pick up hints of an unexplained interaction of the magnetic fields of Saturn and its moon. The account time was compacted from 16 minutes to 28.5 seconds.

'Now we find that Saturn responds by launching signals in the form of plasma waves, through the circuit of magnetic field lines connecting it to Enceladus hundreds of thousands of miles away'.

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The fourth state of matter generates waves to carry energy, much like air or water, and Cassini detected this with special sensors last September before it disintegrated above Saturn.

Astronomers have been busy dissecting data captured during Cassini's Grand Finale mission and have come across a completely new interaction between Saturn and its moon Enceladus.

In the course he had discovered a previously unknown interaction between Saturn and its satellite Enceladus. The geologically active hotspot Enceladus emits clouds of hot vapor into the ionosphere of Saturn thereby intervening in the electrical energy of the ringed planet.

"Enceladus is this little generator going around Saturn, and we know it is a continuous source of energy", Ali Sulaiman, one of the University of Iowa authors, said. The recording was converted by the RPWS team at the University of Iowa, led by physicist and RPWS Principal Investigator Bill Kurth.

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