Apparently, the Rings of Saturn Are..Ringing

The rings of Saturn seem to be ringing like a bell. This might make it easier for researchers to explore the inside of the planet. All the gravitational forces which push the seismic waves from Saturn into his ring system might be behind the sound. NASA‘s Cassini mission was able to find the tremors. And according to a new study, a large part of the interior of the planet is actually more layered than they initially thought. 

Planets hide their interior processes behind these layers. We can learn more about the rocky bodies, such as Earth or the moon, through the study of seismic waves created by quakes. But the researchers have to find other ways in which they can learn more, and that’s how they are doing it, by studying the planet’s magnetic field. 

Cassini mission’s role

After NASA‘s Cassini mission arrived on Saturn back in 2004, researchers found out that the rings of the planet were oscillating in a strange way. They didn’t have single waves predicted by the initial theory, and the spacecraft showed that clusters of small waves which might be the reason behind the presence of gravity waves in the deepest part of the interior of the planet. 

According to Christopher Mankovich, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, “What’s really special about [gravity waves] is that their mere existence requires that at least part of that deep interior to be relatively calm and stable rather than convective.” 

Before we learned about this new research, we knew that the solar system has giant planets that have hard fluid interiors, which push the heat outwards. However, now, with the presence of heavy aspects, such as water, ice rocks, and helium, we can actually see the movement of the fluid and the gravity between the waves. And when it comes to Saturn, those waves can cause the planet to ring just like a bell. 


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