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(PhysOrg.com) -- In a flyby past Rhea, Saturn's second-largest moon, NASA's spacecraft Cassini has revealed the presence of a thin atmosphere of 70 percent oxygen and 30 percent carbon dioxide, which is apparently sustained by chemical decomposition of the moon’s ice-covered surface.
Scientists from the US, UK and Germany analyzing the data from Cassini say the presence of an oxidizing atmosphere is consistent with remote observations by the Hubble telescope and the Galileo probe of Jupiter’s icy moons Europa and Ganymede, but this is the first time the presence of oxygen has been detected directly on any moon or planet.
The oxygen is believed to be formed when water molecules are split by energetic particles in a process called radiolysis. The oxygen is then ejected into the atmosphere and is captured by Rhea’s gravity. The data suggests about 130 grams of oxygen per second is produced on Rhea. The carbon dioxide may originate in dry ice trapped inside the moon, or it could be from carbon-rich meteorites hitting the surface and split apart by charged particles in a similar way to the water ice. Another possibility is it could be escaping from the planet’s interior
Originally posted by pcrobotwolf
captain james t kirk style barely wearing a shirt and sleeping with the green women inhabitants all while breathing air on a distant planet.
Originally posted by SpaceJ
You guys are so obsessed with laying the green aliens, you'd probably be eaten afterwards.