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About Saturn & Its Moons

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Magnetosphere - Recent Discoveries - Saturn's Dust Environment

Some remarkable discoveries regarding the dust environment of Saturn were made by the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) onboard Cassini.

In early 2004, intermittent streams of tiny, fast dust particles were detected speeding away from the Saturn system. These particles are accelerated in, and ejected from, Saturn's magnetosphere. Once outside Saturn's magnetosphere, the motion of these particles is controlled primarily by the interplanetary magnetic field, which accelerates the particle even further.

Another remarkable discovery made by the CDA was detection of E-ring particles as far as Titan's orbit at 20 Saturnian radii (about 1.2 million kilometers, or 749,000 miles). This discovery makes Saturn's tenuous E-ring the largest in our solar system.