The sounds of Saturn. The Cassini probe has recorded “whispers” of the planet and its moon

Saturn sounds. Cassini probe recorded “whispers” of the planet and its moon

Data recorded during the final months of the Cassini probe’s mission continue to provide astronomers with extremely valuable information. Their new analysis has shown a previously unknown interaction between Saturn, its rings and Enceladus, Saturn’s icy moon. Researchers have discovered plasma waves traveling along magnetic field lines between planet and moon.

During the Grand Finale – of recent orbits of Saturn by the Cassini probe, ktore culminated in the controlled entry of a NASA spacecraft into the planet’s atmosphere – The probe took advantage of the proximity to the planet and made a number of measurementsow, whichore would not be possible from a greater distance.

During these maneuversow The Radio Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument installed aboard the probe recorded plasma waves traveling between Saturn and Enceladus. Researchers have determined that these waves travel on the magnetic field lines connecting the two bodies.

The recorded plasma waves look similar to vibrations in the air, whichore heard as sounds. Of course, there is no sound in spaceow. There is a reign of pro¿nia and no medium, such as air, ktore could transmit sound waves. The case is different with electromagnetic waves. Depending on the wavelength, these are radio waves, microwaves or infrared or visible light. These can move freely in space.

Plasma waves in the audio frequency range are roalso electromagnetic waves, and this is what the Cassini probe recorded. Scientists have converted these signals into sounds, so we can now listen to the „whisperow” Saturn and Enceladus. The recording was compressed from 16 minutes to 28.5 seconds.

The video was recorded in September 2017. Two weeks before the Cassini probe’s controlled impact with Saturn.

– Enceladus is such a small generator orbiting woko³ Saturn. It turns out that Saturn responds by emitting signals in the form of plasma waves, through the circumference of theod magnetic field lines connecting it to Enceladus hundreds of thousands of kilometersoon – said Ali Sulaiman of the University of Iowa, whoory is wspoThe author of the dwoch publications on the subject in „Geophysical Research Letters” (first and second).

We know that the relationship between Saturn and Enceladus very rois different from the relationship between the Earth and the Moon. We know roAlso, that Saturn’s magnetic field includes the geologically active Enceladus. This is very different from the Earth and the Moon. Our natural satellite is not in Earth’s magnetic field. Similar plasma wave flow occurs rowween the planet and its rings.