Science

Scientists release recording of Saturn’s lullaby captured by Cassini probe

On Monday, the findings of a research conducted by scientists have established a new avenue of relationship between Saturn and its moon, Enceladus. This feat has been achieved by scientists at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory that has resulted in capturing the sound of electromagnetic energy transitioning between Saturn and Enceladus. The efforts led to compression of the original recording from 16 minutes to an audio clip with duration of almost over 29 seconds that can be audible to humans. Now let us know more about the music played by Saturn for its moon!

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. However, the Cassini probe was able to pick up hints of an unexplained interaction of the magnetic fields of Saturn and its moon. The magnitude of the interaction was substantial and could be detected over radio waves. The waves were recorded two weeks prior to the deliberate crashing of the Cassini spacecraft into Saturn’s atmosphere in March 2017. The Radio Plasma Wave Science instrument aboard the Cassini probe was able to detect and record the electromagnetic waves pulsating in audio frequency range in the final days of the mission.

The data was recorded by the RPWS instrument on September 2, 2017 and it marked the first instance when scientists were able to hear the vibrating pulses of plasma being transmitted to and fro between Enceladus and Saturn. According to the lead author of the new paper published in the journal ‘Geophysical Research Letters’, Ali Sulaiman from the University of Iowa, Enceladus has been identified as a continuous source of energy revolving Saturn and Saturn’s response was recognized in the signals launched as plasma waves.

Enceladus is the most remarkable satellite of Saturn among the other 62 and is also touted to be one of the most probable sites of extraterrestrial life. 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. The magnetic field of the satellite is also responsible for more chaos. In response to this behavior of its satellite, Saturn sends a column of oscillating plasma through magnetic field lines that imitate electrical circuits connecting the planet and its moon.

So the next time you are in a dark room with the ringed member of our solar system, it would not be difficult now to identify it without the slightest of doubts!

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