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 January 26, 2015 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 January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rosetta Captures Stunning Views, Diverse Data Of Comet 67P

Rosetta Captures Stunning Views, Diverse Data Of Comet 67P

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) The first images of the European Space Agency&apos;s Rosetta probe comet orbit could provide clues about its origin and how it got its unique shape. Video provided by Newsy
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