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Saturn makes waves in its own rings 5nvklj





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Saturn makes waves in its own rings

Dragon
Dragon
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Saturn makes waves in its own rings Empty Saturn makes waves in its own rings

Post by Dragon Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:17 am

In the same way that earthquakes cause our planet to rumble, oscillations in the interior of Saturn make the gas giant jiggle around ever so slightly.

Those motions, in turn, cause ripples in Saturn's rings.

In a new study accepted in the journal Nature Astronomy, two Caltech astronomers have analyzed those rippling rings to reveal new information about the core of Saturn.

For their study, they used older data captured by NASA's Cassini, a spacecraft that orbited the ringed giant for 13 years before it dove into the planet's atmosphere and disintegrated in 2017.

The findings suggest that the planet's core is not a hard ball of rock, as some previous theories had proposed, but a diffuse soup of ice, rock, and metallic fluids—or what the scientists refer to as a "fuzzy" core.

The analysis also reveals that the core extends across 60 percent of the planet's diameter, which makes it substantially larger than previously estimated.


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Saturn makes waves in its own rings 334pu7m
Dragon
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Saturn makes waves in its own rings Empty Re: Saturn makes waves in its own rings

Post by Dragon Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:18 am

Saturn makes waves in its own rings Saturn-makes-waves-in
Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

An illustration of Saturn and its "fuzzy" core.

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Saturn makes waves in its own rings 334pu7m
Dragon
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Saturn makes waves in its own rings Empty Re: Saturn makes waves in its own rings

Post by Dragon Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:19 am



NASA's Cassini mission revealed spiral waves rippling through Saturn's inner rings. Some of these spiral patterns act like seismometers, picking up subtle changes in Saturn's gravitational field.

A new analysis of these waves has helped reveal the hidden structure of Saturn's sloshing interior.

It now appears that the planet core is large and "fuzzy," lacking defined layers.

Hydrogen and helium gradually mix with larger quantities of ice and rock at greater depths in the core.


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Saturn makes waves in its own rings 334pu7m

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