Saturn’s Aurora and Moon Enceladus in the News

November 14, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Saturn’s Moon did Cosmic Flop

 

 

Saturn’s moon Enceladus might have rolled over on its side sometime in the past, a suggestion that would account for a strange finding made by the Cassini spacecraft. Why is there a hot spot only at the south pole? There is a way to possibly confirm that the moon flipped. Its former leading hemisphere should have had more impact craters than the trailing hemisphere. If it flipped 90 degrees, the pattern of craters now present would reveal as much. Read the whole story at: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060531_saturn_moon.html

Saturn’s Aurora Dazzles with Mysterious Light

“We’ve never seen an aurora like this elsewhere,” said Tom Stallard, an RCUK Academic Fellow working with Cassini data at the University of Leicester. “It’s not just a ring of aurorae like those we’ve seen at Jupiter or Earth. This one covers an enormous area across the pole. Our current ideas on what forms Saturn’s aurorae predict that this region should be empty, so finding such a bright one here is a fantastic surprise.”

Saturn’s main aurora, which is caused by the solar wind, changes size dramatically as the wind varies. The newly observed aurora at Saturn, however, doesn’t fit into previously identified categories…Read the whole story at: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060531_saturn_moon.html

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