Oxygen detected in Saturn's moon Dione

   Mar 3, 5:26 pm

London, Mar 3 (ANI): A NASA spacecraft circling Saturn has discovered a wispy oxygen atmosphere on the ringed planet's icy moon, Dione

The discovery - made using the Cassini spacecraft, which flew by Dione nearly two years ago - supports a theory that suggests all of the moons near Saturn and Jupiter might have oxygen around them.

According to co-author Andrew Coates of University College London, Dione has no liquid water and so does not have the conditions to support life. But it is possible that other moons of Jupiter and Saturn do.

"Some of the other moons have liquid oceans and so it is worth looking more closely at them for signs of life," Prof Coates told BBC News.

It is thought the oxygen is being produced via interactions between Saturn's powerful radiation belts and Dione's water ice. The radiation breaks the water molecules down, liberating oxygen into the moon's exosphere.

This most recent discovery will no doubt give a boost to scientists lobbying for sending missions to the gas giant's satellites to search for alien life as, like the presence of liquid water, the presence oxygen could support microscopic lifeforms on other, more habitable moons.

The Cassini research has been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. (ANI)

Double stars with 'weird' planet-forming disks found in binary star system Jul 31, 2:35 pm
Washington, July 31 (ANI): Astronomers have observed a striking pair of two stars with wildly misaligned planet-forming discs in the young binary star system with the help of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
Full Story
Mystery behind 'Moon's bulging shape' revealed Jul 31, 1:33 pm
Washington, July 31 (ANI): Researchers have recently revealed that the shape of the moon could be attributed to the tidal effects acting early in the moon's history.
Full Story
First ever man-made leaf to provide oxygen during space travel Jul 30, 2:36 pm
Washington, July 30 (ANI): First man-made breathing leaf has been created that will act as an "oxygen factory" during space exploration.
Full Story
New study claims Milky Way weighs half of Andromeda Galaxy Jul 30, 1:50 pm
Washington, July 30 (ANI): A new study has revealed the method for measuring the mass of galaxies accurately, according to which Milky Way has half the mass of its neighbor Andromeda Galaxy.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY