Some of those accelerated particles - protons, mostly - are also expelled in the form of cosmic rays, high-energy particles that stream throughout the galaxy. While the majority of cosmic rays are blocked by Earth's atmosphere, in space (and even at high altitudes) they can be damaging to sensitive electronics - as well as human DNA.
Since studying supernova remnants at close distance isn't possible (at least for the time being) finding a similar behavior occurring around a planet right here in our own solar system is very exciting for scientists.
"Cassini has essentially given us the capability of studying the nature of a supernova shock in situ in our own Solar System, bridging the gap to distant high-energy astrophysical phenomena that are usually only studied remotely," said Adam Masters of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Japan.
Masters is the lead author of a paper titled "Electron acceleration to relativistic energies at a strong quasi-parallel shock wave," published in the Feb. 17 issue of the journal Nature Physics.
Read more on the ESA website, and see more news from the Cassini mission here.