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Oxygen found on Saturn's moon Rhea

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I think this is awesome, finally proof of oxygen on other worlds.
A spacecraft has tasted oxygen in the atmosphere of another world for the first time while flying low over Saturn's icy moon, Rhea.

Nasa's Cassini probe scooped oxygen from the thin atmosphere of the planet's moon while passing overhead at an altitude of 97km in March this year.

Until now, wisps of oxygen have only been detected on planets and their moons indirectly, using the Hubble space telescope and other major facilities.

Instruments aboard Cassini revealed an extremely thin oxygen and carbon dioxide atmosphere that is sustained by high-energy particles slamming into the moon's surface and kicking up atoms, molecules and ions.

Astronomers have counted 62 moons orbiting Saturn. At 1500km wide, Rhea is the second largest and is thought to be made almost entirely of ice.

Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/nov/25/oxygen-saturn-moon-rhea

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If there was a 'like' button on here then I would press it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    While it would be nice to read your views & replies on every topic that you post, I do wholeheartedly agree with this topic. Astronomy doesn't crop up anywhere near as much as it did in the early 90s when I was a teen.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I love astronomy stuff too. I saw a Horizon program the other day that indicates that scientists are starting to believe that our 'Big Bang', which created our universe, was just one of many of a series. And then I saw this today (which is based on a similar premise) :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11837869
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