Space

Scientists: inside Saturn can be as viscous and fluid as honey

Apparently, an electrically conductive liquid is hidden under a layer of gas.

Image of Victor Tangermann based on NASA images

Scientists from the National University of Australia said that the inside of the gas giant Saturn can be as viscous and fluid as honey. They came to this conclusion after analyzing the data from the Cassini probe.

According to the results of the study, the pressure in the inner layers of Saturn’s atmosphere becomes so strong that the gas turns into an electrically conductive liquid. In turn, it is strongly influenced by the planet’s magnetic field, which makes the fluid more fluid and viscous.

Scientists have drawn conclusions based on a theoretical model that was built using data from the Cassini probe, which plunged into Saturn at the end of the mission. Primary data showed that jet flows stopped at 8.5 thousand kilometers inside the planet, but no one could explain why this was happening.

Researchers from Australia believe that the cause is an electrically conductive liquid: it does not allow air currents to penetrate further into Saturn. In the near future they intend to conduct more research to test the theory.

The Cassini mission ended on September 15, 2017, 20 years after the start. The device was sent to the atmosphere of Saturn when its batteries were depleted. The probe spent 13 years in orbit of the planet, sent more than 453 thousand photographs, and also allowed to study the satellites of Saturn – Titan, Iapetus and Enceladus.

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