Cassini probe has sent its first images of rings of Saturn back to Earth on Thursday. The images showed surprisingly sharp edges and energy ripples within these formations. And that's not all.
Scientists also got a bonus from the early data: the sounds of Saturn, as the craft passed through the "bow shock," or leading edge of the planet's magnetic field, which ebbs and flows like the ocean. The noise had a deep quality, rising to a guttural crescendo at the point where Cassini met the field, reports Reuters.
According to planetary.org, yesterday at 10:58 pm PDT, close to two hours after the end of the orbit insertion burn, Cassini plunged back through the gap between Saturn's F and G rings, moving from the northern backlit side of the rings to the southern sunlit side. According to Jeremy Jones, Cassini's chief navigator, the spacecraft's current orbit takes it around the planet every 116.3 days. "We were aiming at 117.4 days, so we're right there" said Jones. An orbit correction scheduled for Saturday, July 3, will fine-tune Cassini's orbit.
The scientists say that data driven from this research may enlighten the formation of the whole Solar system.
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