Tuesday, September 28, 2010
THE AURORA OF SATURN
I couldn’t resist posting this image of Saturn just to remind myself of the terrible splendor of the universe, and to forget our own petty, toxin-tainted atmosphere.
“Majestic, ringed Saturn little resembles the relatively tiny blue marble that is Earth, but the massive gas giant planet is home to at least one phenomenon that would be familiar to high-latitude dwellers here on Earth. Although the underlying mechanisms may differ somewhat, Saturn has northern and southern lights at its poles, just as Earth does. Auroras arise when charged particles are funneled along converging magnetic field lines and into the upper atmosphere at the poles. At Earth, the effect is dominated by the solar wind; at Saturn a complex mixture of other geomagnetic phenomena appear to contribute as well. Charged particles striking Saturn's upper atmosphere ionize hydrogen atoms and produce infrared radiation, whereas related processes also give off Saturnian auroras at ultraviolet and radio wavelengths.” (Click here for more)
Don Partridge – RIP
Posted by Mick at 9/28/2010 12:28:00 AM