image 23-October-2017 10:10:22

Saturn's bow shock

Date: 18 February 2013
Satellite: Cassini
Copyright: ESA

The international Cassini spacecraft exploring the magnetic environment of Saturn. The image is not to scale. Saturn’s magnetosphere is depicted in grey, while the complex bow shock region – the shock wave in the solar wind that surrounds the magnetosphere – is shown in blue. While crossing the bow shock on 3 February 2007, Cassini recorded a particularly strong shock (an Alfvén Mach number of approximately 100) under a 'quasi-parallel' magnetic field configuration, during which significant particle acceleration was detected for the first time. The findings provide insight into particle acceleration at the shocks surrounding the remnants of supernova explosions.

Last Update: 07 September 2017

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