Saturn’s Moon Rhea Has A Breathable Atmosphere? Mayhaps! Space Party!
What are we going to do when we consummate the inevitable? You know, destroying the Earth? Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’ll be throwing a fucking kegger on Rhea. It appears that one of Saturn’s sixty moons has a breathable atmosphere.
Saturn’s icy moon Rhea has an oxygen and carbon dioxide atmosphere that is very similar to Earth’s. Even better, the carbon dioxide suggests there’s life – and that possibly humans could breathe the air.
It seems oxygen is far more abundant than we ever suspected, particularly on moons that seem to be completely frozen solid. We recently found evidence of oxygen on Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede, and now this finding on Europa. In fact, because the region of space surrounding Saturn’s rings has an oxygen atmosphere, it’s thought even more of the icy moons within the gas giant’s magnetosphere likely have little atmospheres of their own.
According to new data from the Cassini probe, the moon’s thin atmosphere is kept up by the constant chemical decomposition of ice water on the surface of Rhea. It’s likely that Saturn’s fierce magnetosphere is continually irradiating this ice water, which is what helps to maintain the atmosphere. Researchers suspect a lot of Rhea’s oxygen isn’t actually free right now, but is instead trapped inside Rhea’s frozen oceans.
Maybe. Fucking scientists. Someday there will be a statement that has the words “absolutely” or “certainly” or “positive” that I can get psyched for. I’m waiting for the proclamation that’s like “Definitely hot chicks and Mountain Dew on Mars! Plus, small boners are cool there.” Try and stop me from getting on that space shuttle.