Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Saturn.

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Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Saturn.

Post #1by kristoffer » 11.04.2013, 19:00

The W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii have observed changes in Saturn's ionosphere, and it were caused by a liquid water rainfall from Saturn's rings. It is the only planet known to have this phenomenon in our solarsystem.

http://news.discovery.com/space/astrono ... 130410.htm


aturn’s rings rain charged water particles down onto the gas giant’s atmosphere, causing measurable changes in the planet’s ionosphere. This intriguing conclusion comes from astronomers using the W. M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii that observed dark bands forming in Saturn’s upper atmosphere.

“Saturn is the first planet to show significant interaction between its atmosphere and ring system,” said James O’Donoghue, postgraduate researcher at the University of Leicester and lead author of a paper to appear this week in the journal Nature. “The main effect of ring rain is that it acts to ‘quench’ the ionosphere of Saturn, severely reducing the electron densities in regions in which it falls.”

Although highly charged ice particles are known to be transported from Saturn’s rings to the planet below via its powerful magnetosphere, this is the first time that global changes to the composition and temperature of the Saturnian ionosphere have been realized.

Like Earth, Saturn’s ionosphere is composed of highly charged particles. The solar wind continually slams into this region, igniting space weather phenomena such as aurorae.

In 1980, during the Voyager 1 flyby of Saturn, dark bands were detected in Saturn’s upper atmosphere — it was surmised that there may be some interaction between Saturn’s rings and its ionosphere. However, in follow-up studies, little further evidence for these bands was found. That was until the Keck II telescope’s NIRSPEC instrument was trained on the planet in 2011.

The high-resolution near-infrared spectrograph detected the variations in the emission of a hydrogen molecule in the Saturnian ionosphere. This particular molecule — composed of three hydrogen atoms, known as trihydrogen cation (H3+) — is commonly found in space environments and has a specific emission spectrum. Normally, one would expect a uniform distribution of H3+ (as is seen in the atmospheres of Earth and Jupiter), but planet-wide bands in its distribution were discovered on Saturn.

The most intriguing thing was that the NIRSPEC data appeared to show a “mapping” of Saturn’s rings down onto the planet’s ionosphere — the magnetosphere is guiding the charged water particles down onto the upper atmosphere, creating a ring pattern at varying latitudes (see diagram, right). The water particles from the rings are raining down and neutralizing (or quenching) the H3+ at discrete locations covering 30 to 43 percent of the planet’s upper atmosphere from 25 to 55 degrees latitude.

“It turns out a major driver of Saturn’s ionospheric environment and climate across vast reaches of the planet are ring particles located 120,000 miles overhead,” said Kevin Baines, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and research co-investigator. “The ring particles affect which species of particles are in this part of the atmospheric temperature.”

The team now want to utilize an instrument on NASA’s Cassini probe currently in orbit around Saturn to observe further evidence for Saturn’s “ring rain” and it’s impact on the planet’s ionosphere.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #2by Hungry4info » 11.04.2013, 20:51

kristoffer, and not the article wrote:Liquid water in Saturn's rings
kristoffer, and not the article wrote:and it were caused by a liquid water rainfall from Saturn's rings
Stop. Just stop. You should know better than that.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #3by kristoffer » 11.04.2013, 20:55

Hungry4info wrote:
kristoffer, and not the article wrote:Liquid water in Saturn's rings
kristoffer, and not the article wrote:and it were caused by a liquid water rainfall from Saturn's rings
Stop. Just stop. You should know better than that.

I? It's not me who have said, the scientists at the observatory on Mauna Kea confirmed this.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #4by Hungry4info » 11.04.2013, 21:07

Can you provide a link to a reputable source suggesting liquid water is raining onto Saturn?
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #5by kristoffer » 11.04.2013, 22:21

Hungry4info wrote:Can you provide a link to a reputable source suggesting liquid water is raining onto Saturn?

Don't you see the link?

Well, here's the link, if you can't see it: http://news.discovery.com/space/astrono ... 130410.htm

Here is the official news, from NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassi ... 30410.html
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #6by Hungry4info » 11.04.2013, 22:43

You specifically said liquid water. This is quite a bit beyond what the NASA sites are saying and, unless you can find a reputable source to back it up, is nothing short of the sensationalism that causes people to read "alien life discovered" into discoveries of hot Jupiters.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #7by Fenerit » 11.04.2013, 23:03

My thoughts about...

1) How the ice of the ring is still there after these years;
2) How much of the ring's mass has been lost and, in such a case, what should have been the resulting mass/density of the ring and therefore its gravitation;
Never at rest.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #8by Hungry4info » 12.04.2013, 12:03

lodgy wrote:I read the link given on NASA. :)
these are not assumptions but facts (studied since the 80s) !
even if it is difficult to conceive, kristoffer gave good information ! :)

You're just as wrong as he is then. No where in the NASA statement does it say there's liquid water falling onto Saturn. It's a significant distinction that you two don't seem to understand.

In a vacuum, there is no temperature at which water is liquid.
http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/phase.html
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #9by kristoffer » 12.04.2013, 14:27

I agree in what you says, Lodgy.

hungry4info, this is official news, from NASA. You can trust NASA.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #10by Hungry4info » 12.04.2013, 15:41

olyv wrote:they said simply "water", no ice or no vapor, or something ...
True, but you should know enough about water to know that there's no way it will be liquid in a vacuum.

olyv wrote:rain contains liquid, if not, we say that snows (for crystals) or there's fog (for gas) right ?
NASA does not have a stellar record of avoiding sensationalism in their headlines.

kristoffer wrote:hungry4info, this is official news, from NASA. You can trust NASA.
My point is that the NASA site isn't saying that the water is liquid -- otherwise they would be wrong, too.

The original source for the story is a Nature article here:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 12049.html

What they did is observe H_3+ emission over a range of latitudes on Saturn's surface and they discovered a correlation between the H_3+ intensity with the ring structure, suggesting charged particles from the rings (likely disassociated water, meaning H's and O's, not water, and certainly not liquid water).

Nature article wrote:Here we report the detection of a pattern of features, extending across a broad latitude band from 25 to 60 degrees, that is superposed on the lower-latitude background glow, with peaks in emission that map along the planet’s magnetic field lines to gaps in Saturn’s rings.

Image

Water in the rings is destroyed by sunlight and the charged particles are guided by the planetary magnetosphere onto the upper atmosphere.

Nature article wrote:This pattern implies the transfer of charged species derived from water from the ring-plane to the ionosphere, an influx on a global scale, flooding between 30 to 43 per cent of the surface of Saturn’s upper atmosphere.
Emphasis mine. It is clear that they're saying that the charged particles are what are falling onto Saturn. Water is broken into charged particles by photodissociation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photodissociation
H2O + 2 photons ? 2 electrons + 2 H+ + O.
^ That is where the charged particles are coming from, and that is what is falling onto Saturn. Not the actual water itself, and certainly not liquids of any form.

You can look at the Nature article's supplementary information if you don't have access to the full paper. It makes it quite clear what they're doing.

kristoffer wrote:You can trust NASA.
It's not a trust issue. You two (and to a lesser extent the NASA page) are just badly misreporting the science.
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Re: Liquid water in Saturn's rings, caused rainfall onto Sat

Post #11by Hungry4info » 12.04.2013, 17:00

lodgy wrote:or there's fog (for gas) right ?
Fog is technically not a gas. A gas would have the water molecules unbound and free to move. In a fog, the water condenses into tiny liquid droplets.
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Post #12by CharlottAwong » 29.10.2016, 13:20

What about Europa moon of Jupiter, it also has shown some new signs recently? I can say, because of strong gravitational pull, I can clearly say that those charged particles were dangerous for the life on the Saturan.


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