Shop Windows to the Universe

The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This is a drawing of the magnetosphere of Saturn.
Click on image for full size

An Overview of Saturn's Magnetosphere

Saturn's magnetosphere is not as big as Jupiter's, but is very large nonetheless. It extends well beyond the orbits of Saturn's moons. It is probably generated in the same manner as is Jupiter's, which affects its overall shape and structure.

The rings of Saturn affect the motion of particles in the magnetosphere, as well as keeping the plasmasphere small. The size of the plasmasphere is also affected by the fact that Saturn's moon Titan does not contribute as large a cloud of material (torus) to the magnetosphere as is the case with Jupiter's moon Io.

Saturn's magnetosphere produces beautiful aurora, as well as strong radio emissions and other waves, such as whistler waves.


Last modified June 3, 2003 by Randy Russell.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Saturn's Plasmasphere

Saturn's plasmasphere is pretty big. Most of the plasma comes from the donut-shaped cloud (torus) of material from Titan and the other icy moons. Besides ions and electrons, the plasmasphere also contains...more

Saturn's Aurora

Have you ever seen the Southern or Northern Lights? Did you know that Earth isn't the only planet that puts on these beautiful light shows, also known as the "aurora"? Auroral displays have also been observed...more

Radio Signals of Saturn

Radio signals are a signature of activity within the magnetosphere. There are two kinds of waves in the Saturn environment; Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR), and Saturn Electrostatic Discharges (SED)....more

The Liquid Hydrogen Layer

The first liquid layer inside Saturn, immediately under the atmosphere, is the liquid hydrogen layer. The hydrogen atmosphere becomes thicker and thicker, a fog with more and more liquid hydrogen droplets,...more

An Overview of Saturn's Interior

The Giant planets do not have the same layered structure that the terrestrial planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and they have less solid material inside....more

Detecting Planetary Magnetism

A magnetometer is an instrument for measuring magnetic fields. Many spacecraft carry magnetometers to measure the magnetic fields around planets they orbit or fly by. When a spacecraft takes such measurements,...more

The Poles of Saturn and Its Moons

There's a lot of strange and interesting stuff going on at both the North and South Poles of Saturn. Features at the poles of two of Saturn's moons, Titan and Enceladus, have also grabbed the attention...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF