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Saturn’s shockwaves reach supernova force

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1 Saturn’s shockwaves reach supernova force on Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:25 pm

PurpleSkyz

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Saturn’s shockwaves reach supernova force




Posted on February 22, 2013 by The Extinction Protocol





February 22, 2013SPACE - 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. “Cassini has
essentially given us the capability of studying the nature of a
supernova shock in situ in our own solar system, bridging the gap to
distant high-energy astrophysical phenomena that are usually only
studied remotely,” said Adam Masters of the Institute of Space and
Astronautical Science, Sagamihara, Japan. Scientists are particularly
interested in “quasi-parallel” shocks, where the magnetic field and the
“forward”-facing direction of the shock are almost aligned, as may be
found in supernova remnants. The new study, led by Masters describes the
first detection of significant acceleration of electrons in a
quasi-parallel shock at Saturn, coinciding with what may be the
strongest shock ever encountered at the ringed planet. 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. The findings,
published this week in the journal Nature Physics, confirm that certain
kinds of shocks can become considerably more effective electron
accelerators than previously thought. Shock waves are commonplace in the
universe, for example in the aftermath of a stellar explosion as debris
accelerate outward in a supernova remnant, or when the flow of
particles from the sun – the solar wind – impinges on the magnetic field
of a planet to form a bow shock. Under certain magnetic field
orientations and depending on the strength of the shock, particles can
be accelerated to close to the speed of light at these boundaries. These
may be the dominant source of cosmic rays, high-energy particles that
pervade our galaxy. –Daily Galaxy



contribution Emanni



Thanks to: http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com



  

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