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Saturn's auroral hiss is asymmetrical

Date:
December 31, 2009
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Saturn emits "auroral hiss," a whistler-mode electromagnetic emission observed in the magnetosphere at high latitudes. This emission is similar to auroral hiss emitted by Earth. However, unlike Earth's auroral hiss, researchers have found that Saturn rotates in a beam-like matter around the planet.

Saturn emits "auroral hiss," a whistler-mode electromagnetic emission observed in the magnetosphere at high latitudes. This emission is similar to auroral hiss emitted by Earth. However, unlike Earth's auroral hiss, Gurnett et al. find that Saturn rotates in a beam-like matter around the planet.

Using data taken by the Cassini spacecraft, the authors observe that the auroral hiss emitted by Saturn has a different rotation rate in the northern and southern hemispheres; the period is about 10.6 hours in the northern hemisphere and about 10.8 hours in the southern hemisphere. They note that the rotation periods match the modulation periods of another type of radio emission, Saturn kilometric radiation, which was also recently found to rotate at different rates in the two hemispheres.

This new observation confirms a fundamental north-south asymmetry in the rotation rates of high-latitude plasma phenomena in the two hemispheres.

The authors suggest that the results also have implications for understanding how the planet's rotation is transferred to the magnetosphere plasma.

The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters. Authors include D. A. Gurnett, A. M. Persoon, J. B. Groene, A. J. Kopf, G. B. Hospodarsky, W. S. Kurth: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gurnett et al. A north-south difference in the rotation rate of auroral hiss at Saturn: Comparison to Saturn's kilometric radio emission. Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (21): L21108 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040774

Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Saturn's auroral hiss is asymmetrical." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183755.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2009, December 31). Saturn's auroral hiss is asymmetrical. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183755.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Saturn's auroral hiss is asymmetrical." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183755.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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