Saturn's spokes caused by thunderstorms?

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 29 2006 @ 09:55 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Scientists suggest the spokes in Saturn's rings may be caused by thunderstorms.
If this is true then the lightning that strikes Saturn could be thousands times stronger than the lightning storms on Earth.
If this perception is correct, the lightning that strikes Saturn could be several thousand times stronger than the thunderstorms that strike Earth and the impact could be that beams of electrons are released from the planet's surface to fall into the rings to create electrically charged dust that is seen as the spokes.

Geraint Jones of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany and his team say the idea appears to be plausible as it fits with the effects of thunderstorms on Earth.

Besides, the theory that the spokes could be the result of strikes by meteorites cannot hold as several meteorites cannot be expected to strike the rings at the same place in close succession, they say.


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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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