Scientists solve mystery of water on Saturn's atmosphere
28 July 2011
Planetary scientists have claimed to have finally solved a 14-year mystery by discovering the source of the water in Saturn's upper atmosphere.
A team led by Paul Hartogh of Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, said the Herschel space observatory had found that giant jets of vapour from the planet's moon Enceladus were responsible for the planet's water.
The 'International Business Times' reported today that the latest discovery around Saturn had that Enceladus, the planet's sixth-largest moon was covered with ice and was also providing water to Saturn, creating a rain-showering halo.
According to the planetary scientists, the water vapours were visible as tiger-like stripes of gas and ice that escaped at the southern pole of the moon and became a main water-source vapour for Saturn's upper atmosphere.
As a matter of fact, the ring was 10 times greater than Saturn's radius, and Enceladus continuously fed the ring of water vapours during its orbit.
There was no analogy to this behaviour on earth and significant quantities of water did not enter the earth's atmosphere from space said Hartogh. He added this was unique to Saturn.
Enceladus consisted of icy geysers that released water into space, forming a donut-shaped region and only a small percentage of water from Enceladus actually reached Saturn while the rest froze or fell onto nearby moons.
According to scientists, due to the incremental amount of water that entered Saturn's lower levels, clouds were not observable after the condensed.
The water landing on Saturn produced carbon dioxide.