The Curiosity rover, which is designed to explore Mars, has found an ancient oasis on Mars. Researchers working with the Curiosity rover have found salt-enriched…
In June, the European Space Agency announced that its Herschel Space Observatory had found a huge donut-shaped cloud, or torus, of water vapor created by Enceladus encircling Saturn. The torus is more than 373,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) across and about 37,000 miles (60,000 kilometers) thick. It appears to be the source of water in Saturn’s upper atmosphere. The discovery of the torus around Saturn did not come as a complete surprise. NASA’s Voyager and Hubble missions had given scientists hints of the existence of water-bearing clouds around Saturn. Then in 1997, the European Space Agency’s Infrared Space Observatory confirmed the presence of water in Saturn’s upper atmosphere.
NASA’s Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite also observed water emission from Saturn at far-infrared wavelengths in 1999. To combine all puzzles in a single picture about the strange cloud that feeds Saturn with water, helped Herschel’s observations, and computer simulation. So the results show that, though most of the water in the torus is lost to space, some of the water molecules fall and freeze on Saturn’s rings, while a small amount, about 3 to 5 percent, gets through the rings to Saturn’s atmosphere. This is just enough to account for the water that has been observed there. Enceladus is the only moon in our solar system known to influence substantially the chemical composition of its parent planet.
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