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Home / Science / Saturn's rings show how long a day lasts on the planet

Saturn's rings show how long a day lasts on the planet



You can not tell how fast Saturn turns when you see the clouds swirling on the surface. However, the waves in the rings show how fast the planet is turning: the day passes in 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

"This is a really fast clip," says astronomer Christopher Mankovich of the University of California, Santa Cruz. which reports the rotation rate in the 17th Astrophysical Journal of January 17th. With a radius of about 58,000 kilometers, Saturn is about nine times the size of Earth, but its day is only half as long.

Scientists estimated possible lengths for a Saturn day based on radio measurements of the Voyager probe in the 1980s and the Cassini orbiter in the 2000s. These estimates varied in the same playing field as the new, but varied by about 20 minutes.

In 1

993, astronomers Mark Marley and Carolyn Porco, who later led Cassini's imaging team, recognized that Saturn's seismic activity altered the gravity of the planet enough to have its rings shift from tiny, orbiting particles in response. As the rotation stirs up the natural gas of the planet, one could find out from the frequency of these internal vibrations how fast the planet is turning. Cassini's arrival in Saturn's Saturn Orbit in 2004 eventually produced ring pictures that were good enough to test the idea.

The use of these images brought the end of the NASA Orbiter Mission 2017 to an end ( SN Online: 15.09.17 ), Mankovich and his colleagues measured waves in the rings while the rings on the Vibrations of Saturn responded. This can accurately calculated the team how fast the Earth rotates

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] "The crowd Mankovich, whose research team included Marley at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The knowledge of the rotation rate of Sat It can help scientists understand the structure of the gas giant: astronomers believe that Saturn has a solid core of about 15 times the mass of the entire Earth, surmounted by layers of different phases of liquid hydrogen. Mankovich and his colleagues assume that Saturn rotates. Mankovich states that instead, he can be layered like an onion, with each layer rotating at a different speed. The next team has to pull off the onion layers.


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