Solar System Current Affairs - 2020

Saturn Moon Titan: Drifting faster than before

The moon of Saturn, Titan is drifting away faster than before. This has been identified by the researchers in NASA and also scientists in Italian Space Agency.

Highlights

According to the data received from the Cassini Spacecraft of NASA, scientists believed that the Titan has been moving away from its host planet Saturn. However, the recent studies say that the moon is drifting 100 times faster. This is about 4 inches every year.

Science of drifting moons

The moons begin drifting away from their host planets because as the moons orbit, their gravitational pull on the planet creates temporary bulge in the planet. This bulge in turn increases the energy exerted by the planet on its moon. It also transfers the subsiding and bulging energy to its moon.

The earth’s own moon drifts 1.5 inches from the Earth every year.

There are around 82 moons that are orbiting Saturn.

Cassini

The Cassini Space Craft Mission, or the Cassini-Huygens Mission is a joint space mission of NASA. Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. The mission was launched to study saturn, its moons, and rings.

Magnetic Field of Solar Corona unveiled

The researchers in the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy have studied the interplanetary space of the sun called solar corona.

Highlights

The charged particles that are radiating from the surface of the sun is called solar wind. These particles expand and fill in entire solar system. The properties of solar corona are completely dependent on the magnetic field of the sun. The magnetic field is produced in the interior and extends outward.

Key Findings of the study

The Solar Corona can be easily seen during a solar eclipse. The magnetic field lines of solar corona were recorded for over 14 eclipses that occurred in 2 decades.

According to the observations, during the periods of minimum solar activity, the corona field came straight out of the sun near the equator and poles. During the maximum solar activity, the magnetic field was radial.

Why is the study big?

The study has become highly important as so far it was assumed that the coronal magnetic field is radial beyond 2.5 solar radii. The study has found that the coronal magnetic field is non-radial to at least 4 solar radii.