According to Cassini data, Saturns day is short for six minutes.

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 According to Cassini data, Saturns day is short for six minutes.


Sci-tech Daily, Beijing, January 21 (Reporter Liu Xia) How long is the day on Saturn? According to the official website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), scientists in the United States have used the new data provided by NASAs Cassini probe to give the answer: 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds, which is about 6 minutes shorter than the measured value more than 20 years ago.

Saturns rotation period has been difficult to estimate, because Saturn is a gas giant planet with no solid surface, so there is no traceable landmark when it rotates, and Saturns magnetic field is unusual, which hides Saturns rotation speed.

A study published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Astrophysics found that Saturns answer to the question of how long Saturn is every day is hidden in its rings. In September 2017, Cassini made an unprecedented detailed observation of Saturns icy rings at the end of its magnificent life.

Christopher Mankovich, a graduate student at the University of California, Cruz, has shown that Saturns rings respond to vibrations inside Saturn, and that the frequency of vibrations inside Saturn affects its gravitational field, whereas Saturns rings can feel the vibrations in the gravitational field. At a particular location in the ring, these oscillations capture the ring particles at the right time to gradually gather energy, which will propagate as observable waves. Mankovich developed a model of Saturns interior structure to match the waves in Saturns rings to track the vibration inside Saturn and its rotation period. The analysis shows that Saturns rotation period is 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds, which is about 6 minutes shorter than what scientists estimated in 1981 based on radio signal data from the Voyager spacecraft, when Saturn was thought to be 10 hours, 39 minutes and 23 seconds a day. Source: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541, responsible editor of Science and Technology Daily - China Science and Technology Network

Christopher Mankovich, a graduate student at the University of California, Cruz, has shown that Saturns rings respond to vibrations inside Saturn, and that the frequency of vibrations inside Saturn affects its gravitational field, whereas Saturns rings can feel the vibrations in the gravitational field. At a particular location in the ring, these oscillations capture the ring particles at the right time to gradually gather energy, which will propagate as observable waves.

Mankovich developed a model of Saturns interior structure to match the waves in Saturns rings to track the vibration inside Saturn and its rotation period. The analysis shows that Saturns rotation period is 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds, which is about 6 minutes shorter than what scientists estimated in 1981 based on radio signal data from the Voyager spacecraft, when Saturn was thought to be 10 hours, 39 minutes and 23 seconds a day.