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Scientists Reveal The Hurdles In Measuring Saturn’s Angular Velocity

Measuring the day length of rocky planets like Earth is not a challenging task, but it is not as simple as it seems for dense gaseous giants like Saturn. Several planetary scientists have been trying to measure the precise angular velocity of the planet, but unsuccessful in the mission.

The traceable rocky core, which can help in calculating the precise day length of the gas giant, is not visible due to the multi-layer covering. The core is covered by a thick layer of ice, further coated by metallic hydrogen and helium. Saturn lower atmosphere comprises helium rainfall along with a region of gaseous hydrogen. The upper atmosphere is composed of three strata: water vapor clouds at the bottom, covered by ammonium hydrosulphide vapors, and ammonia clouds at the top.

When astronomers discuss regarding Saturn’s angular velocity, it means that they are talking about the rotational speed of the planet’s upper atmosphere. An alternative to determine the day length of a gas giant is through examining the radio frequency patterns emitted by that planet. But this way is not efficient for Saturn as it only emits low-frequency radio patterns.

Cassini—a collaborated mission by NASA, ESA, and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana or Italian Space Agency)—continued for thirteen years and concluded that Saturn’s day length was varying at an extreme rate. In addition, the spacecraft also assessed electromagnetic patterns indicating that the rotational speed of northern and southern hemisphere was different.

On a related note, Saturn’s moon Titan is the second known cosmic body after Earth, which is hosting stable liquid bodies. The abundant stable liquid on the moon is not water, but methane. A study assumes that some of the lakes on Titan are residing in crates, which were formed by the liquid-nitrogen explosions.

This potentially acceptable theory on Titan’s lake formation is available in the journal Nature Geoscience.

However, according to the radar images captured by NASA’s Cassini satellite, some of the lakes—located close to Titan’s northern pole—have steep boundaries and extended rims.

Clarence Bullock
Sr. Content Writer At Global Newspaper 24

While Clarence holds a solid knowledge of the Science field along with the strong interpreting abilities, he is active in the field of writing from the last 5 years and is successfully contributing to the Global Newspaper 24 platform from the last 2 years. He loves to cover news and updates on the satellites and the environment. At the same time, he has a strong experience in handling news on the scientific phenomenon. Presently, he is working at Global Newspaper 24 as a Senior Writer Clarence contributes to our platform with a strong mastery of the Science domain.

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