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Tiny Moon Throws off Saturn's Clock - Audio Clips

Mar. 22, 2007
The concept of time on Saturn has just become more complicated. It appears gas and water vapor spewing from geysers on Saturn's little moon Enceladus is weighing down the giant planet's magnetic field. As a result, the magnetic field is rotating more slowly than Saturn, which complicates traditional techniques for measuring the length of Saturn's day. In fact, the Saturnian day may actually be longer than previously believed.

More information on Cassini is at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov .

CUT 1 – FOR PRODUCTION PURPOSES: NATURAL SOUND OF RADIO EMISSIONS FROM SATURN, RECEIVED BY NASA'S CASSINI SPACECRAFT.
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Running time: :12
OUT: SOUND ENDS

Transcript of CUT 1: Audio includes bursts of staticky noise, with pauses in between.

CUT 2 – DON GURNETT, SCIENTIST WITH THE RADIO AND PLASMA WAVE SCIENCE EXPERIMENT ON NASA'S CASSINI SPACECRAFT, EXPLAINS WHAT THE SOUNDS ARE. GURNETT IS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.
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Running time: :26
OUT: "DAY AT SATURN"

Transcript of CUT 2: "That sound that you heard is the sound of radio emissions from Saturn. And I think you could very definitely hear that beat. The sound that you're hearing was speeded up considerably. We had 5 days that were played in only 15 seconds. And the beat period you could hear, that is the rotation of Saturn. It essentially gives us the length of the day at Saturn."

CUT 3 –DON GURNETT SAYS THEY WERE INTRIGUED BECAUSE CASSINI'S MEASUREMENTS SHOW SATURN'S DAY IS LONGER THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED.
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Running time: :8
OUT: "ROTATION PERIOD"

Transcript of CUT 3: "We first measured the rotation rate using this radio technique with Voyager in 1980, and it was 10 hours and 39 minutes. But with Cassini, which arrived at Saturn in 2004, the period had increased by 6 minutes, which has really been a big puzzle because a big planet like that really can't change its rotation period."

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