Sunday, April 22, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Saturn's rings are raining down methane

Posted on Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 | Comment icon 1 comment

There is still much we don't understand about Saturn's rings. Image Credit: NASA
NASA has revealed the discovery of methane and other chemicals in the gas giant's upper atmosphere.
The data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during the final months of its time around Saturn is continuing to yield surprises despite the fact that the probe itself was destroyed quite some time ago.

Scientists had been expecting Cassini's mass spectrometer to pick up the signature of water molecules between the planet and its rings, but instead it found a strange mixture of chemicals, including methane, that had somehow ended up in Saturn's upper atmosphere.

"We really hit the jackpot," said planetary scientist Mark Perry.

Because the chemicals appeared to be concentrated around Saturn's equator and at high altitudes, the researchers concluded that they must have come from the gas giant's rings.

"We have a lot of work to do to understand how they are getting in there," said Perry.

"None of the models predict this."

Source: Popular Mechanics | Comments (1)

Tags: Saturn, Rings

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer on 18 October, 2017, 20:02
Very interesting. I guess it's too early to offer a theory of what this means. I don't want to use speculate. That started a whole other conversation the last time someone used it.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Work on lunar space station to begin in 2019
NASA has revealed that its ambitious Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will launch as early as 2022.
Cows could end up as world's largest mammals
Scientists have warned that cows could eventually become the largest remaining mammals on Earth.
New species of 'exploding ant' discovered
Capable of taking drastic action to protect their colonies, these ants have a rather unusual defense mechanism.
Missing Nazi submarine mystery finally solved
The wreckage of one of Germany's most advanced U-boats has been discovered off the coast of Denmark.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Revealing the secrets of the deep ocean
Posted 4-19-2018 | 0 comments
Scientist Mandy Joye has dedicated her life to exploring the depths of the world's oceans.
Giant 3D-printed man
Posted 4-15-2018 | 2 comments
British YouTuber James Bruton has created a giant 3D-printed sculpture of himself.
The world's roundest object
Posted 4-12-2018 | 2 comments
A look at how the roundest object can help us to define the humble kilogram.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ