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 Weighing planets and asteroids
23.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht Extremely Thin, Stable, and Bright: Materials for the Photonics of Tomorrow
23.10.2018 | Universität Bremen

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: memory-steel - a new material for the strengthening of buildings

A new building material developed at Empa is about to be launched on the market: "memory-steel" can not only be used to reinforce new, but also existing concrete structures. When the material is heated (one-time), prestressing occurs automatically. The Empa spin-off re-fer AG is now presenting the material with shape memory in a series of lectures.

So far, the steel reinforcements in concrete structures are mostly prestressed hydraulically. This re-quires ducts for guiding the tension cables, anchors for...

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Weighing planets and asteroids

23.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fiber-based quantum communication - Interference of photons using remote sources

23.10.2018 | Information Technology

'Mushrooms' and 'brushes' help cancer-fighting nanoparticles survive in the body

23.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>