The new "deep learning" algorithm that could help scientists better understand planetary atmosphere passed the first big test, a new study reports.
The software, called PlanetNet, outlined a system of stormwater Monster 2008 Saturn in detail, using data collected NASA's CassiniWho has studied the ringed planet near 2004 to 2017.
"The Cassini Mission in collect vast amounts of data, but the classical analysis methods have drawbacks either in the reliability of the information that can be extracted or they take time to perform. A deep study allows the pattern recognition through diverse, multiple sets of data, "study co-lead author Inga Waldman, deputy director of the Center for Space and exoplanet data at University College London in England, said in a statement.
related: Strange Saturn Picture from NASA's Cassini Orbiter
"It gives us an opportunity to analyze atmospheric with & # 39; waking in large areas and from different angles, as well as to make new connections between the form and features of the chemical and physical properties that make them," said Waldman.
PlanetNet looking for a set of data for evidence of "clustering" in the cloud structure and composition of the atmosphere, and then uses this information to generate accurate maps. Waldman and co-director of research Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, training and testing of the algorithm using data obtained by the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument Cassini.
For the new study, which was published today (April 29) in the journal nature Astronomy, Duo chose a set of data containing the VIMS monitoring system of multiple storm that boiled on Saturn in February 2008. This was to be a problem, because the system was complex and quite large. Together, its various components are covered with an area equivalent to approximately 70% of the Earth's surface, the researchers say.
I PlanetNet take this information and run with it, providing a new understanding of storms. For example, it maps showed that the previously observed S-shaped cloud of ammonia was actually part of a much larger upwelling, which is surrounded by a dark storm. And PlanetNet found a similar function around another storm, believing that ammonia ice upwellings are common in the atmosphere of Saturn, the researchers say.
«PlanetNet allows you to analyze much larger of & # 39; the volume of data, and it gives an understanding of the dynamics of large-scale Saturn, "Griffith said in the same statement." The results show the atmospheric features that were previously unnoticed. PlanetNet can be easily adapted to other data set and the planet, making it an indispensable tool for many potential future missions. "
Mike Wall book about the search for extraterrestrial life "there"(Grand Central Publishing, 2018 illustrated Charles Tate), C & # 39 is currently available. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall, Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or facebook.