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Topic: European Space Ageny

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft detects Cosmic Particles being accelerated

 

Written by Jia-Rui C. Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – During a chance encounter with what appears to be an unusually strong blast of solar wind at Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft detected particles being accelerated to ultra-high energies. This is similar to the acceleration that takes place around distant supernovas.

Since we can’t travel out to the far-off stellar explosions right now, the shockwave that forms from the flow of solar wind around Saturn’s magnetic field provides a rare laboratory for scientists with the Cassini mission — a partnership involving NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency — to observe this phenomenon up-close.

This artist's impression by the European Space Agency shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft exploring the magnetic environment of Saturn. (Image credit: ESA)

This artist’s impression by the European Space Agency shows NASA’s Cassini spacecraft exploring the magnetic environment of Saturn. (Image credit: ESA)

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