Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

   Please leave this field empty
Blogs

See other posts from November 2009

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Saturn's aurora, even better than before

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

2009/11/24 03:35 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, Cassini, magnetospheres, Saturn, animation

The Cassini imaging team have posted their own processed and captioned version of the Saturn's aurora movie that I posted a preview of about six weeks ago, and it was worth the wait. It turns out that the video covers an amazing 81 hours of auroral action on Saturn's night side. This version of the video has also been annotated with lines denoting Saturn's limb and latitudes 70 and 78 degrees north latitude. The auroral action occurs at a latitude of 74 degrees north latitude and extends an amazing 1,200 kilometers above Saturn's limb, making them "the tallest known 'northern lights' in the solar system,' according to the caption released with the movie. An orange color was added to the aurora in order to help differentiate it from the star-streaked background. Other processing included the removal of cosmic ray hits and hot pixels.


Saturn's aurora
According to the Cassini imaging team, "These auroral displays are created by charged particles from the magnetosphere that plunge into the planet's upper atmosphere and cause it to glow. The magnetosphere is the region of electrically charged particles that are trapped in the magnetic field of the planet. The auroral curtains shown in the movie reveal the paths that these charged particles take as they flow along lines of the magnetic field between the planet's magnetosphere and ionosphere."
Credit: NASA / JPL / SSI

 

Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, Cassini, magnetospheres, Saturn, animation

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

JOIN THE
PLANETARY SOCIETY

Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Featured Images

Curiosity at Mount Remarkable from the ground and from orbit, sol 601

Unusual paper-thin erosion of a rock seen by Curiosity, sol 601
Navcam panorama of Mount Remarkable at the Kimberley, including planned drill location, sol 606
Navcam view of the proposed Curiosity Kimberley drill location, sol 609
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Fly to an Asteroid!

Travel to Bennu on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft!

Send your name

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!