Spacecraft Cassini’s Observation: Saturn Clouds Run Deep and Rings May Shower Organics 

 

According to the last year’s observations made by the NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, the clouds in Saturn planet have its roots deep inside its structural atmospheric level and the ring of Saturn is now believed to have formed hundred million years ago will appear to rain organic molecules on the planet’s body. The observation is done on the spacecraft’s final week mission. 

Scientist’s discoveries on the Cassini spacecraft continue when a long-live, powered by plutonium space probe had passed between the planet and its ring’s gap. During the spacecraft’s 22 passage actions in the ring, they are able to directly measure the giant gravity of the gas, which allows them to compare the effects of Saturn and the rings. The spacecraft had run out of fuel so they intendedly plunged it out into the atmosphere of Saturn in September 2017. 

Due to the measurement completed, the scientists get the opportunity to study the internal structure of the planet and know it even better, showing how the masses are distributed in the interior of Saturn. Also, this had helped them enhance the calculations of the planet’s ring mass, a figure that produced an estimation of the ring’s age. 

The weather system found on Saturn is not as apparently spectacular compared to the weather system of the Jupiter. But according to Linda Spilker, a project scientist of Cassini at NASA’s JPL, they had observed the evidence that the clouds on Saturn, as well as the jet streams,  are extending even deeper into the planet compared to what is anticipated to them. 

The data of the gravity from spacecraft’s final 22 orbits are also pointing to the recent formation of the rings that had happened some time ago. The scientists had derived the age of the ring to its own mass. Spilker said that the Saturn’s rings are probably on its 100 million years age or older due to its low mass. 

Many of the instruments of the spacecraft are used to detect the microscopic particles. Previous research had suggested that the rings may deposit some materials into the atmosphere of Saturn. The materials are raining down to the atmosphere of the planet near its equator. They have identified these materials as a water ice since more than ninety percent of the ring is composed of water. The Saturn’s ring has a reddish color and the scientist called them organics.