May 19, 2014

No twist in this tail: Leicester research backs up Saturn aurora theory

New observations of the ringed planet show dramatic auroral activity occurs when the planet’s magnetotail collapses

Just like Earth, Saturn has a “tail” - a magnetic one to be precise, formed from a trail of electrified gas from the Sun which flows out in the planet’s wake.

What’s more, scientists have long suspected that this “magnetotail” is responsible for dramatic auroral activity on the ringed planet – in a very similar way to a process which happens here on Earth.