Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Cassini Images Show 'Northern Lights' Of Saturn

Date:
August 8, 2005
Source:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
New images of Saturn obtained by a University of Colorado at Boulder-led team on June 21 using an instrument on the Cassini spacecraft show auroral emissions at its poles similar to Earth's Northern Lights.

New ultraviolet images from Cassini spacecraft show auroral emissions at Saturn's poles.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Colorado at Boulder

New images of Saturn obtained by a University ofColorado at Boulder-led team on June 21 using an instrument on theCassini spacecraft show auroral emissions at its poles similar toEarth's Northern Lights.

Related Articles


Taken with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph aboard theCassini orbiter, the two UV images, invisible to the human eye, are thefirst from th e Cassini-Huygens mission to capture the entire "oval" ofthe auroral emissions at Saturn's south pole. They also show similaremissions at Saturn's north pole, according to CU-Boulder ProfessorLarry Esposito, principal investigator of the UVIS instrument built atCU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, andProfessor Wayne Pryor of Central Arizona College, a UVIS team memberand former CU graduate student.

In the false-color images, blue represents aurora emissionsfrom hydrogen gas excited by electron bombardment, while red-orangerepresents reflected sunlight. The images show that the aurora lightsat the polar regions respond rapidly to changes in the solar wind, saidthe researchers. Previous images have been taken closer to the equator,making it difficult to see the polar regions.

Major changes in the emissions inside the Saturn south-poleaurora are evident by comparing the two images, which were taken aboutone hour apart, they said. The brightest spot in the left aurora fades,and a bright spot appears in the middle of the aurora in the secondimage.

Made by slowly scanning the UVIS instrument across the planet,the images also contain more than 2,000 wavelengths of spectralinformation within each picture element. Researchers will use thewavelength information to study Saturn's auroras, gases, and hazes andtheir changing distributions.

The UVIS observation team includes researchers fromCU-Boulder, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Central Arizona Collegeand the University of Southern California.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA,the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The JetPropulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute ofTechnology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini- Huygens mission for NASA'sSpace Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

###

More information on the Cassini-Huygens mission is available at the following Web sites: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado at Boulder. "New Cassini Images Show 'Northern Lights' Of Saturn." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050805105049.htm>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2005, August 8). New Cassini Images Show 'Northern Lights' Of Saturn. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050805105049.htm
University of Colorado at Boulder. "New Cassini Images Show 'Northern Lights' Of Saturn." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050805105049.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins