Scientists already know how much time last night on the planets of the Solar system. Unfortunately, the exact duration of a day on Saturn is still remained unknown, as the studies give different figures. In the twentieth century to assume the length of day on the planet was only possible based on observations with ground-based telescope, but after the launch of the first unmanned probes figures became more accurate. Finally, the data from the device “Cassini” gave the exact answer that negates all previous assumptions.
The approximate length of day on Saturn has been known before, but the numbers are always different. According to the study apparatus “Voyager”, which in their calculations focused on the ratio of the planet’s magnetic field and the axis of its rotation, a day on Saturn lasted 10 hours, 39 minutes and 23 seconds. The study apparatus “Cassini” in 2004 has indicated that the duration of the day on a gas planet is 10 hours 45 minutes and 45 seconds.
A new study found quite different figures, and they are considered the most accurate because the calculation was based on changes in the gravity field caused by fluctuations in the inner part of the planet. Using computer modeling, scientists compared the internal oscillations with a duration of daylight of the planet. The calculations were carried out by the team of astrophysicists led by Christopher Mankovice.
The length of day on Saturn is 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds
The researchers explained that the particles in the rings actively respond to changes in the gravitational field. In certain places the ring particles catch fluctuations and gradually accumulate the energy that is carried away in the form of the observed waves. It is these waves and allowed astrophysicists to find out the duration of the day accurate to seconds.
Recall that the unit “Cassini” burned up in the atmosphere of Saturn is 15 September 2017. The data they collected are still helping researchers to make important discoveries. For example, recently it became known that the rings of the gas giant was formed relatively recently, during the life of the dinosaurs.
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