Sounds of Saturn: Plasma waves turned into sound by researchers

Sulaiman et al found a powerful interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and Enceladus. Image credit NASA  JPL-Caltech

New research from the Grand Finale phase shows a powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from the gas giant to its rings and its sixth-largest moon, Enceladus.

"Saturn is responding to the radiation generated by the motion of Enceladus, the waves that are born into the plasmasphere surrounding a planet and its rings", explains one of the authors of a study specialist on the planet, Ali Sulaiman from the University of Iowa.

But before you head to the doomsday bunkers to prepare for the Saturnian invasion, we should point out that they're not they're not "sounds" in the traditional sense - they're plasma waves.

NASA said researchers converted those plasma waves into an audio file "in the same way a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music".

In other words, Cassini detected electromagnetic waves in the audio frequency range - and on the ground, we can amplify and play those signals through a speaker.

Cassini used his tool recipesmenus wave (RPWS) to capture the sounds of plasma waves that move between Saturn and Enceladus, says Science Alert.

Previously HB reported that an worldwide group of researchers discovered complex organic molecules in the ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus.

"The recording time was compressed from 16 minutes to 28.5 seconds".

The "circuitry" between the planet and its moon is the subject of two recent papers in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Enceladus is submerged in Saturn's magnetic field and is topographically dynamic, a radiating crest of water vapor that winds up ionized and fills the earth around Saturn. By comparison, the moon orbits Earth at a radius of 384,400 km.

Saturn isn't just a attractive planet with its distinct set of rings, it's also a giant electric generator.

While we know that there is no "sound" as such traveling between Saturn and Enceladus since that would require air, radio waves can and do travel through space, and we are able to pick up plasma waves from probes like Cassini.

The recording was captured September 2nd, 2017, two weeks before Cassini was deliberately plunged into the atmosphere of Saturn.

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