While the recording is full of crackles and sounds it is in fact the sound of almost nothing.
In fact it’s so sparse that the sound actually surprised scientists who were expecting there to at least be some dust residue.
Instead it looks as though there really is just a giant void between the planet.
“The region between the rings and Saturn is ‘the big empty,’ apparently,” said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Cassini will stay the course, while the scientists work on the mystery of why the dust level is much lower than expected.”
While it’s puzzling for the scientists concerned it’s actually good news for future passes through the void.
Quite simply, the less debris there is floating around the less chance there is of Cassini hitting it and being destroyed before it finished its mission.
Originally the team had sent Cassini in dish first in the hopes that it would act as a primitive shield for some of the spacecraft’s more delicate components.
However with the 2,000km proving to be a complete mass of nothing it appears as though there’s very little risk of that happening.
Cassini’s incredible 20-year journey will soon come to an end, having made some astonishing discoveries and taken some of the most impressive images of space we’ve ever seen.
As part of Cassini’s last hurrah, NASA has been pushing the spacecraft to its limits around Saturn before finally sending it on a hurtling death plummet into the gas giant’s atmosphere.
Cassini’s Pictures Of Dione
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