On 31st July I visited Lincoln shortwave club to talk about some of the important discoveries made by the Cassini spacecraft by utilising the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum. We started by looking at some of the many radar images taken of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, before discussing some of the least known science about the internal structures of Saturn and its moons by measure the doppler shift in radio transmissions sent back to Earth.
Below: Maps of the surface of Titan show large lakes and seas of methane. Due to the thick atmosphere, one of the only moons in the solar system to have such an atmosphere, radar was very important to gain detailed surface maps. Image credit: NASA / JPL
Below: The internal structure of Titan with Saturn and its rings in the background. by measure the doppler shift in the radio transmission sent back to earth as it orbited Saturn and its moons it was able to get detailed information about the internal structure. Variations in the gravitational field results in slight changes in the orbit of the Cassini spacecraft which can be measured by how much the radio waves are stretched or squashed. Image credit: NASA / JPL.