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Toward the completion of its 13-year mission, which ended in September 2017, the Cassini spacecraft performed a set of orbits that brought it closer to Saturn than ever before. By passing over the planet’s polar regions at a low altitude, Cassini’s ultraviolet camera could observe Saturn’s auroras at an unprecedented resolution. Scientists at Lancaster University have analyzed the high-resolution imagery showing the auroras’ small-scale structure.
The images from the last leg of Cassini’s journey show for the first time the detailed structure of the main auroral arc, which varies between a smooth and a rippled shape, likely depending on how quiet or disturbed the plasma near Saturn is. The images show…READ MORE