• Saturn

Saturn (Photo : Reuters)

Scientists used a new method to measure Saturn's days and found out that it is actually shorter than previously recorded.

Saturn was a challenge for researchers to measure the planet's rotation speed as different parts of it rotate in different velocities.

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Dr. Ravit Helled from the Tel Aviv University came up with a new method which not only measures Saturn's rotation period, but also other factors such as weather patterns and how the planet came into form.

The new method, which was recently published in Nature, is based on the fact that Saturn's north-south axis is longer than its east-west axis, and the measurement of Saturn's gravitational field, according to Science World Report.

"In the last two decades, the standard rotation period of Saturn was accepted as that measured by Voyager 2 in the 1980s: 10 hours, 39 minutes, and 22 seconds," said Dr. Helled from TAU's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences.

However, the Cassini spacecraft's most recent data showed that Saturn's day is actually just 10 hours, 32 minutes and 44 seconds long.

The researcher's method uses statistical optimization with several other solutions, which should reproduce the observed properties from the ringed planet. Helled and the team then processed the information to find for Saturn's rotation period, according to Phys.org.

Helled said that the rotation period affects all other elements of Saturn, including rocks, water and its core mass.

The researchers also applied the new method to Jupiter and found out that it is indeed consistent and accurate.