Electric Saturn

23 Dec 2017

Robert sent in the link to https://expertsvar.se/en/pressmeddelanden/electrical-and-chemical-coupli... ... electrical and chemical coupling between Saturn and its rings - Swedish research results published in the journal Science. The Langmuir probe was developed by the Swedes and was onboard the Cassini spacecraft. It seems it has made some exciting discoveries on the atmosphere of Saturn - a strong coupling, chemically and electrically, between Saturn's upper atmosphere and its ring system. In 2017 the Cassini spacecraft passed through the narrow gap between the innermost visible ring and the atmosphere of Saturn and detailed measurements were made by a umber of onboard instruments including the Langmuir probe. The Swedish results are the first to be published and it shows the upper atmosphere of Saturn as charged, consisting of hydrogen and hydrogen ions (an electrically charged gas). This is the ionosphere of Saturn (Earth too has an ionsophere) but the surprising bit that is exciting scientists is that there is strong evidence of electrons coupling with the visible rings. These consist primarily of ice particles - which are electrically charged. They seem to suck up electrons from the ionosphere. It also transpires that the A and B rings protect Saturn from EUV radiation, and lightning from further down into the atmosphere passes into the ionosphere and this is recorded by cameras.

Robert also sent in the link https://crev.info/2017/12/planetary-youth-cassini/ ... which purports to claim new information downloaded from Cassini undermines the uniformitarian geochronological time scale - which it of course does not as it only shows recent activity has occurred. Other baffling information beamed back by Cassini include its moon Iapetus which has an equatorial mountain range 12 miles high that entirely circles the body. What caused it - and does it tell us anything about mountain formation on Earth.

It then turns to the Swedish study (briefly) before repeating the Enceladus oddities which include a lot of geyser activity in spite of the non-uniform thin crust. Turning to Ceres he spoke on the recent JPL News that said the bright spots may be evidence of recent actitivity - on a cold and dead asteroid. Even Venus is now thought to be geologically active - recently. It ends by telling us this is evidence of a young solar system which conveniently ignores it it only evidence of recent activity.