Saturn Exchanges Plasma Waves With Its Moon Enceladus

Christopher Davidson
July 12, 2018

The probe registered a vibrating column of plasma which carries waves inside it; scientists then converted the waveforms into sound, using a similar process to how a vehicle radio functions. (And ours.) We now know that Cassini also recorded a soundtrack of sorts-data that has now yielded a series of thrillingly eerie whooshes and warbles that represent the relationship between the ringed planet and Enceladus, one of its moons. The perceptions appear out of the blue that the waves travel on magnetic field lines interfacing Saturn straightforwardly to Enceladus.

During its final orbits around Saturn, which culminated in a fiery, destructive Grand Finale, Cassini managed to pick up something remarkable: the sound of electromagnetic energy flowing between Saturn and its moon Enceladus. Researchers say the lines act like an electrical circuit, causing energy to flow back and forth between the planet and its moon.

Enceladus is of particular interest now because it is one of the candidates inside the Solar System that could actually host life. The space agency recently revealed that there are complex organic molecules in Enceladus' inner water ocean world. At the end of the day, Cassini recognized electromagnetic waves in the sound recurrence extend - and on the ground, we can open up and play those signs through a speaker. On Earth, it is possible to simply amplify and replay those signals as music. Scientists found was that not only was the plasma interaction remarkably powerful, but that the signals could be sped up from a duration of 16 minutes to 28.5 seconds and converted into an audio file.

It is common knowledge that sound can not travel through a vacuum, so how did NASA get a sound file?

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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.

A new research by NASA's Cassini spacecraft's up-close Grand Finale orbits demonstrates a shockingly intense and dynamic collaboration of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus.

The study was first published by the American Geophysical Union.

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