2021-05-07

Scientists believe that the helium rain layer affects Saturn’s unique magnetic field

By yqqlm yqqlm

Scientists believe that the helium rain layer affects Saturn’s unique magnetic field

This model shows that helium rain in high latitudes There is a lower temperature at the top of the layer. The researchers of the project pointed out that studying the internal structure of giant gaseous planets is challenging, and their findings will help advance the work of mapping Saturn’s hidden regions. Researcher Sabine Stanley said that by studying how Saturn formed and evolved over time, we can learn a lot about the formation of other planets similar to Saturn in the solar system.

One of the key differences between Saturn and other planets in the solar system is that its unique magnetic field is almost completely symmetrical around its axis of rotation. The details of the magnetic field were obtained on the last orbit of the Cassini mission, providing an opportunity to understand the planet’s deep interior. Saturn’s magnetic field is generated deep inside it.

The researchers of this project input the data collected by Cassini into a computer simulation, which is similar to the simulation currently used to study weather and climate. The researchers explored the necessary conditions for generating an electromagnetic conversion mechanism called Dynamo to account for the magnetic field lines on Saturn. They discovered that the model is very sensitive to specific things such as temperature.

The simulation results show that there may be slight non-axisymmetric properties near the north and south poles of the planet. Stanley said that even though observations of Saturn show that the magnetic field looks completely symmetrical, computer simulations can fully examine the magnetic field. However, the researchers say it is necessary to conduct direct observations at the poles to confirm their findings.

If they can confirm this discovery, these data may have an impact on understanding another challenge that scientists have faced in studying Saturn for decades, and that is how to measure the planet’s rotation speed. Knowing the speed of the planet’s rotation will allow the length of a day on the planet to be determined.