2021-05-11

Scientists build a model of Saturn’s interior: thick helium rain layer may affect the planet’s magnetic field

By yqqlm yqqlm

Scientists build a model of Saturn’s interior: thick helium rain layer may affect the planet’s magnetic field

Researching the internal structure of large gas giant planets It’s difficult to name it, and these discoveries advance efforts to map Saturn’s hidden regions.

Study co-author Sabine Stanley, a planetary physicist at Johns Hopkins University, said: “By studying how Saturn formed and how it evolves over time, we can learn a lot about the Information on the formation of other planets outside the solar system that are similar to Saturn.”

Saturn stands out among the planets in our solar system because its magnetic field seems to be almost completely symmetrical around its axis of rotation. The lead author of the study, Johns Hopkins University doctoral student Chi Yan, said that detailed measurements of the magnetic field collected from the last orbit of NASA’s Cassini mission provide an opportunity to better To understand the inner depths of the planet, where the magnetic field is generated.

Scientists build a model of Saturn’s interior: thick helium rain layer may affect the planet’s magnetic field(1)

By adding “Cassini “The data collected by the mission was input into powerful computer simulations similar to those used to study weather and climate. Yan and Stanley explored the components needed to produce a power device-an electromagnetic conversion mechanism-which can account for Saturn’s magnetic field.

Stanley said: “One thing we discovered is how sensitive the model is to very specific things like temperature,” he is also the Johns Hopkins University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Applied Physics Laboratory Distinguished professor of space exploration department. “And this means that we have a very interesting exploration of the deep interior of Saturn, up to a depth of 20,000 kilometers. This is a kind of X-ray view.”

The shocking thing is, Yan and Stanley’s simulations indicate that there may actually be a slight degree of non-axisymmetric near Saturn’s north and south poles.

Stanley said: “Although our observations from Saturn appear to be completely symmetrical, in our computer simulations, we can fully examine this field.”