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Ripples in Saturn’s Rings Discloses the Secrets of the Planet’s Core

Saturn produces waves in its own Rings. Like earthquakes on earth, oscillations in the inner side of Saturn make the planet shake. Those movements lead to making ripples in the Rings of the planet.

In recent research, two of the Caltech scientists have found that those rippling Rings disclose new data regarding the planets core. They used old information by NASA’s Cassini, a spacecraft that revolved around the ringed giant for around 13 years prior to its disintegration in 2017.

The studies imply that Saturn’s core is not a solid ball of rock, as some earlier research had stated, but is a diffuse soup of metallic fluids, rock, and ice. The research also discloses that the core spreads across 60 percent of Saturn’s diameter that makes it considerably larger than estimated earlier.

Assistant professor of theoretical astrophysics at Caltech, Jim Fuller, said that they made use of the Saturn Rings like a huge seismograph to calculate oscillations inside the planet. It is the very first time they’ve been capable of probing the configuration of a gas giant planet seismically, and the conclusions were very astonishing.

Christopher Malkovich, the lead author of the research, said that the results of the study offer the best proof yet for Saturn’s ambiguous core and line up with the latest evidence from the Juno mission by NASA that implies that Jupiter may also have an equally diluted core.

Fuller and Malkovich have now studied the ripples in the Rings in order to develop new models of Saturn’s splattering core.

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