Cassini and Saturn's magnetic field

Cassini and Saturn's magnetic field

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Credit: ESA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Cassini and Saturn's magnetic field. Computer illustration of the Cassini spacecraft (lower left) exploring the magnetic environment of Saturn. Here, Saturn's magnetosphere (grey) can be seen, along with the complex bow shock region - the shock wave in the solar wind (blue) that surrounds the magnetosphere. While crossing the bow shock on 3rd February 2007, Cassini recorded a particularly strong shock (an Alfven Mach number of approximately 100) under a quasi-parallel' magnetic field configuration, during which significant particle acceleration was detected for the first time. The findings provide insight into particle acceleration at the shocks surrounding the remnants of supernova explosions.

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