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 October 30, 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 October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Observers near Wallops Island recorded what they thought would be a routine rocket launch Tuesday night. What they recorded was a major rocket explosion shortly after lift off. (Oct 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Just hours after an American cargo run to the International Space Station ended in flames, a Russian supply ship has arrived at the station with a load of fresh supplies. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 29, 2014) A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) NASA and Orbital Sciences officials say they are investigating the explosion of an unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station. It blew up moments after liftoff Tuesday evening over the launch site in Virginia. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
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