Cassini’s Radio and Plasma Wave Science, or RPWS

These sounds and spectrogram represent data collected by Cassini’s Radio and Plasma Wave Science, or RPWS, instrument as the spacecraft crossed through Saturn’s D ring on May 28, 2017. As tiny, dust-sized particles strike Cassini and the RPWS antennas, the particles are vaporized into tiny clouds of plasma, or electrically excited gas. These tiny explosions make a small electrical signal that RPWS can detect. Researchers convert the data into visible and audio formats for analysis. Ring particle hits sound like pops and cracks in the audio. Details:


What is a meteor shower?A meteor shower occurs when a cloud of…

What is a meteor shower?

A meteor shower occurs when a cloud of debris from a comet or asteroid enters Earth’s atmosphere and burns up, leaving bright trails. Most often these debris particles are not much bigger than grains of sand.

In space anything up to about a metre in diameter is technically termed a meteoroid; when a meteoroid hits the Earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a meteor. A group of meteors is a meteor shower.

Because the particles are all moving in the same direction, to an observer on the ground they appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. 

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Astronomy & Astrophysics


Cetus Duo M77 and NGC 1055 : At the top right, large spiral…

Cetus Duo M77 and NGC 1055 : At the top right, large spiral galaxy NGC 1055 joins spiral Messier 77 in this sharp cosmic view toward the aquatic constellation Cetus. The narrowed, dusty appearance of edge-on spiral NGC 1055 contrasts nicely with the face-on view of M77s bright nucleus and spiral arms. Both over 100,000 light-years across, the pair are dominant members of a small galaxy group about 60 million light-years away. At that estimated distance, M77 is one of the most remote objects in Charles Messiers catalog and is separated from fellow island universe NGC 1055 by at least 500,000 light-years. The field of view is about the size of the full Moon on the sky and includes colorful foreground Milky Way stars along with more distant background galaxies. via NASA