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NotesVoyager I & II's 1980 encounter with Saturn revealed many dynamic details of this giant gas planet. Vast weather patterns across the face of Saturn in orange tang and white are the results of equatorial wind velocities of 1800 kilometers per hour.
Saturn is second in size only to Jupiter. Saturn's magnetopause (its electromagnetic envelope) has a magnetic tail which extends away from the sun. Saturn's magnetic field traps charged particles coming from the solar wind. Some of these interactions were recorded within the 20-20,000 hertz range, the range of human hearing, and are the ones you hear on this recording.
Enhanced images revealed a subtle bright spot in Saturn's north tropical zone. There was also a large oval feature in the southern hemisphere with certain similarities to the great red spot on Jupiter. The awesome magnetic and charged particle environment of Saturn plus its ionic interactions with it rings as well as free radio wave emissions from its ionosphere, contributed to the astounding variety of sounds on this recording.
For more information about plasma and magnetic fields and their relationship to our sound recordings from space, consult the April 1991 issue of Scientific American Magazine, an article entitled "Collisionless Shock Waves".
Special thanks to our friends and contacts at various U.S National Space Agencies and Universities. This Space Recording Series is dedicated to the memory of Fred Scarf, PhD, who developed the acoustic recording project for Voyager and is directly responsible for the sounds you hear on these recordings from space.
Authentic photos are made available, courtesy of JPL and NASA
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- Matrix / Runout: 908300-1 TUCHMAN
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