science

NASA mystery: Saturn’s flashing auroras puzzle astronomers – ‘Lot of analysis to do’


Mr Bader said: “Surprisingly many questions revolving around Saturn’s auroras remain unanswered, even after the outstanding success of the Cassini mission.

“This last set of close-up images gives us unique highly detailed views of the small-scale structures which couldn’t be discerned in previous observations by Cassini or the Hubble Space Telescope.

“We have some ideas about what their origin could be, but there is still a lot of analysis to be done.”

According to the researchers, charged particles from the Sun slam into the ringed giant and interact with Saturn’s spinning magnetic field.

The auroras appear near the planet’s poles where they are incredibly dynamic, flashy and often pulsating.



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