Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cassini sees giant energy flow on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft recorded the effects of an ancient giant storm on Saturn. New data pointed to record conflict in the upper atmosphere of the planet, which existed for a long time after the in evidence signs of the storm had disappeared, and that the storm was actually much stronger than previously thought.

In the analysis of data obtained from the composite infrared spectrometer apparatus Cassini, discovered that a powerful electrical discharges that occurred during the storm, Saturn's stratosphere warmed to 83 Kelvin above its normal temperature. 

At the same time, researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., found a huge increase in the concentration of ethylene, the origin of which remains a mystery to scientists. Ethylene - a gas with no color or odor, which is not usually seen on Saturn.

Scientists at the Goddard describe this unprecedented surge of energy in the new work, published in the issue of The Astrophysical Journal for October 20.

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