Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cassini Mission results: Particles rich in silicates and water ice detected in saturn’s ring rain

05.10.2018

The Cassini Huygens Mission is one of the most exciting missions to explore the Solar System. For the first time it offered the possibility to analyze saturn’s ring rain. Scientific planning and mission operations of the instrument, with which these measurements were performed, have been carried out by the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart.

A year ago, the Cassini spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere of the planet Saturn - a spectacular end to one of the most successful missions in space history. This event was preceded by 22 passes through the gap between Saturn and its rings. For the first time these orbits offered the opportunity to analyse the ring rain. This phenomenon arises because Saturn's rings are continuously bombarded by meteorites.


Die Darstellung zeigt, wie geladene Wassereispartikel vom Ringsystem des Planeten Saturn in dessen Atmosphäre strömen wodurch sich deren Helligkeit verringert.

Abbildung: NASA

Fine particles of the ring material are released by the impacts. These particles move along the magnetic field lines, which emanate from the inside of the gas planet and enter its atmosphere. Dynamic analyses carried out at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, have already predicted this phenomenon.

The last orbits made it possible for the first time to detect the ring rain by measurements and to analyze the samples, which have their origin in the main ring, and to determine their composition. Particles rich in silicates and water ice were detected.

Complex organic compounds, embedded in water ice particles, were discovered. Most of the dust particles measured had the size range of a few ten nanometres. The scientists publish the new findings in the current issue of the journal Science.

The instrument with which these measurements were performed is the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA). This instrument was developed and built by the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (Heidelberg) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (DLR). Scientific planning and mission operations have been carried out by the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart since 2011.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project between NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena/USA leads the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The project is funded by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR).

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dr. Ralf Srama, Universität Stuttgart, Institute of Space Systems, Tel.: +49 (0)711-685-62511, Mail: srama (at) irs.uni-stuttgart.de

Originalpublikation:

Hsiang-Wen Hsu, Ralf Srama et.al. “In situ collection of dust grains falling from Saturn’s rings into its atmosphere“, Science 362 (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aat3185

Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht FAST detects neutral hydrogen emission from extragalactic galaxies for the first time
02.07.2020 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

nachricht First exposed planetary core discovered
01.07.2020 | Universität Bern

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: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>