Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saturn’s winds are variable

10.06.2003


A team of astrophysicists at the University of the Basque Country has detected, for the first time ever, changes in Saturn’s winds. The research has merited front page coverage in the scientific magazine, Nature.



The winds blowing around Saturn and Jupiter are special. Unlike those of the rest of the planets, these move in an eastwards direction and are ten times stronger than the earth’s winds. On our planet it is solar radiation which governs the winds, but on the distant planets it is believed that there is another energy source, although astrophysicists have not identified it as yet. According to some theories, the wind originates in the centre of the planet and brings with it heat from there.

The tem of astrophysicists at the University of the Basque Country (EHU), together with another from Wellesley College in Massachussets, have analysed the images provide by the Hubble telescope in order to understand the behaviour of Saturn’s winds. During the analysis, an unexpected discovery was made – the velocity of the winds from 1996 to 2002 turned out to be half of that in the 1980-81 period. Agustin Sanchez-Lavega, Santiago Perez-Hoyos, Jose Felix Rojas and Ricardo Hueso have taken part in this research, amongst others. .


The speed of the winds had been believed to be stable

The speed of the winds of Jupiter and Saturn were first measured in the 80s by Voyager. Since then, it has been thought that Jupiter’s winds were stable, although nothing certain was known about those circulating Saturn. Now, thanks to the work of carried out by researchers at the EHU, it is known that the winds at the equator have changed and, moreover, the astrophysicists have concluded, these winds are created in the upper part of the atmosphere.

In order to check all these conclusions, the Cassini Huygens mission, which will reach Saturn in 2004 will be of vital importance. This mission, led by European and US space agencies, will take high-resolution images of de Saturn’s atmosphere and, perhaps then, clear up the mysteries of the winds.


Author:
Eider Carton
Elhuyar Fundazioa

Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6940/abs/nature01653_fs.html&d

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe
23.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht New study maps space dust in 3-D
23.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>