Cassini reveals Saturns eerie-sounding radio emissions
Saturns radio emissions could be mistaken for a Halloween sound track.
That is how University of Iowa researchers Bill Kurth and Don Gurnett describe their recent findings, published 23 July in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Their research investigated sounds that are not just eerie, but also descriptive of a phenomenon similar to Earths northern lights. The study was based on data from the Cassini spacecrafts radio and plasma wave science instrument, which was built at the University of Iowa under Gurnetts direction.
"All of the structures we observe in Saturns radio spectrum are giving us clues about what might be going on in the source of the radio emissions above Saturns auroras," says Kurth. "We believe that the changing frequencies are related to tiny radio sources moving up and down along Saturns magnetic field lines."
The radio emissions, called Saturn kilometric radiation, are generated along with Saturns auroras, or northern and southern lights. The Cassini instrument has provided new information on the spectrum and the variability of the radio emissions, thanks to the higher resolution of the instrument, as compared to that on the earlier Voyager spacecraft. These high-resolution measurements allow scientists to convert the radio waves into audio recordings by shifting the frequencies down into the audio frequency range.
The terrestrial cousins of Saturns radio emissions were first reported in 1979 by Gurnett, who used an instrument onboard the International Sun-Earth Explorer spacecraft in Earth orbit. Kurth says that despite their best efforts, scientists still have not agreed on a theory to fully explain the phenomenon. He adds that they will get another chance to solve the radio emission puzzle beginning in mid-2008, when Cassini will fly close to, or possibly even through, the source region at Saturn.
Commenting on the new observations, Gurnett says, "It is amazing that the radio emissions from Earth and Saturn sound so similar."
Harvey Leifert | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...