Saturn and the Earth swap features on youtube

Two videos have recently been doing the rounds, one entirely made up and one from Cassini data, showing features more normally seen on either the Earth or Saturn swapped round to the other planet.

Firstly the real one. Aurora are most usually associated in the public mind with displays in polar regions. Astronomers have recorded aurorae on other planets in other wavelengths, but getting strong visible auroral signals has proven difficult. Mercury, which shows us its night side, has no substantive atmosphere. Venus has an aurora spread all over its nightside, meaning it blends into the background quite a bit. The other planets are normally seen in terms of their dayside, making it difficult to see any visible light signals other than the reflected light of the Sun. However, a few probes have been on the other side and captured the odd glance. Here is the rather more than a glance of the visible aurora caught by Cassini on the dark side of Saturn (the bright glow of the dayside can be seen creeping over the top to compare with). The original files were black and white and have been colourised according to the expected spectral lines the emissions are believed to occur on. A youtube clip from JPL’s channel explaining the observation is below:

The other youtube video doing the rounds is the Rings of the Earth, showing Saturn’s most immediately notable feature – it’s ring system – transposed to the Earth, taking account for the likely start and end distances. Whilst a very relaxing video, it has been pointed out that the video assumes a direct analogue – ie ice rings with a Cassini division between them (gap created by a small moon – discovered by Cassini the guy, not Cassini the space probe). Earth has one Moon, which will affect the outer part of the ring, and is more likely to have dusty rings due to the close proximity of the Sun. This webpage gives an interesting simulation of more likely terrestrial rings, and for everything else, the original clip is below:

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2 responses to “Saturn and the Earth swap features on youtube

  1. Pingback: Saturn and the Earth swap features on youtube « Where the Sun hits … | planets

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