PIA13866: Hiss from Aurora Caused by Enceladus

Hiss from Aurora Caused by Enceladus


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This video demonstrates the hiss-like radio noise generated by electrons moving along magnetic field lines from the Saturnian moon Enceladus to a glowing patch of ultraviolet light on Saturn.

The data from the radio and plasma wave science instrument aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft cover a period from 6:02 p.m. to 6:17 p.m. PST on Nov. 20, 2009 (2:02 a.m. to 2:17 a.m. UTC on Nov. 21, 2009). This Enceladus flyby brought the spacecraft within about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) of the moon.

The sound is typically inaudible to the human ear, but has been amplified electronically.

The colors in the video indicate the intensity of the electron bombardment. Red is the most intense.

This hiss-like noise created by the electrons is one sign of the magnetic connection between Saturn and Enceladus, which also creates a glowing ultraviolet "footprint" near Saturn's north pole. Electron beams detected by the Cassini plasma spectrometer and magnetic field disturbances detected by Cassini's magnetometer also provided signs of the electrical circuit between Saturn and Enceladus.

Background Info:

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The radio and plasma wave science team is based at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://www.nasa.gov/saturn and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Enceladus Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Radio and Plasma Wave Science Instrument (RPWS)
Extra Keywords Magnetosphere, Radio, Ultraviolet
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-02-17
Date in Caption 2009-11-20 2009-11-21
Image Credit NASA/JPL/University of Iowa
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13866
Identifier PIA13866