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Thin Oxygen-CO2 Atmosphere Discovered On Rhea

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the fo'-rhea dept.

Space 37

Randyll writes "During its Saturn flyby in March, the Cassini space probe detected an oxygen-rich atmosphere on Rhea, Saturn's second-largest moon. While 100 times thinner than the atmospheres of Europa or Ganymede, Rhea's atmosphere contains a surprising amount of carbon dioxide. There is an explanation for the oxygen — the decomposition of surface ice — while the origin of the carbon dioxide is a mystery. A few of the possible explanations are that Rhea has carbon-rich organic molecules or that the gas is seeping from Rhea's interior. However, researchers have been unable to determine the exact source for the gas." While "richness" is relative — the study's abstract refers to Rhea's atmosphere as "tenuous," and oxygen concentrations are trillions of times lower there than they are on Earth — the finding still puts Rhea in rare company among the planets and moons of the solar system.

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Isn't it obvious? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351050)

Aliens who have died from lunar warming.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (-1, Troll)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351142)

you forget, any warming from CO2 must be human-caused otherwise there's no point and it might as well be random climate change for no reason (tsk tsk)

No human causation = no need to panic, and therefore no need to dismantle capitalism and usher in the golden age of enviro-socialism (google Common Purpose for details)

Re:Isn't it obvious? (1, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351176)

I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic or serious. Sad case in either instance because regardless if you think something is real or not, it is obvious that pollutants have a huge impact on humans and therefor should be reduced.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (2, Interesting)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351216)

I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic or serious

true talent has that ability

Re:Isn't it obvious? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351432)

I would fully and 100% agree with you in the terms of a physical conversation with someone. Such talents expand into many realms, acting, playing poker, pranks, etc.

However, online, a lot of it can be attributed to simple plain text being unable to adequately express the subtleties of our communication.

In regards to ghostdoc's post - I'm pretty sure he meant it in more of a "Smart Ass" (or Smarse) kind of sarcastic. Like "I know this is faliable logic, but I'll build on it to show how ridiculous the claims extreme environmentalists make really are"

How come? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34353186)

An interesting story comes to Slashdot, and there are practically no comments besides arguing about semantics and lame jokes?

Come on, I want to read about: What CO2 in the atmosphere mean? Can it be a product of life on the surface that's breathing, or can it be used by life forms on the surface to create food, does this make it more likely for life to be there, or not? Should we sent a probe to Rhea (oh yes, we should send a probe everywhere), or just to Titan and Europa? What about colonisation of Rhea (hey, Rhea might be last in the list, but that's more interesting than arguing what 'thin' means)?

Won't we put some hate on the US government for not making more missions, and learning more?

Am I the only one who dreams that we spent more money for space projects, and we currently had probes working on all planets and major moons, plus permanent human presence on Mars and the moon?

Re:How come? (2, Insightful)

daniel23 (605413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355296)

at least one sane soul!

Re:How come? (2, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357512)

Says a lot about slashdot's current state that the only non-retarded comment is by an AC.

Re:How come? (1)

shnull (1359843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34373026)

no , you're not alone, i'm sure there's one of us on every continent at least

Re:Isn't it obvious? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351186)

Why must I always spend my last modpoint just before seeing a huge heap of shite flamebait.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (3, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351430)

Man, you must have received a serious bulk discount on all that straw.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351928)

Drats! They found the old Chineese Moonbase. The fools died of over-breathing! Sheesh! :|

Stupid writing (0, Troll)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351110)

While 100 times thinner than the atmospheres of Europa or Ganymede

100 times thinner compared to what? Or are they implying that Rhea has a negative atmosphere that's 99 times more negative than Europa's is positive? If they mean that Rhea's atmosphere is 1% or 1/100th as dense as Europa's then just say that. For a science website to get this wrong is pretty bad.

Re:Stupid writing (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351234)

100 times thinner compared to what?

The atmospheres of Europa or Ganymede.

If they mean that Rhea's atmosphere is 1% or 1/100th as dense as Europa's then just say that.

They did say that. You're simply either a) unable to comprehend English, or b) so compelled to pedantry that said desire short-circuited the parts of your brain dedicated to the comprehension of the English language.

Re:Stupid writing (1)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351350)

They did say that. You're simply either a) unable to comprehend English, or b) so compelled to pedantry that said desire short-circuited the parts of your brain dedicated to the comprehension of the English language.

Fine - try looking at it a different way. Let's say that Europa has an atmospheric density of 100 units. If someone were to say that Rhea's was one time thinner, what would the density of Rhea's atmosphere be?

Re:Stupid writing (2, Informative)

malilo (799198) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351406)

here's a hint: log(1) = 0. So it's the same size, which is why no one with a brain says "it's one time thinner".

Re:Stupid writing (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351456)

See Malilo's response. Your question is stupid. Your pedantry, doubly so.

Re:Stupid writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351674)

What? log(1)=0 so it's the same size? I assume they are trying to say that makes the difference zero, but that makes no sense.

So if it's 10 times thinner, log(10)=1 so that makes the difference "1" so the 10 times thinner actually means "0"?
Or if it's 3 times thicker, log(3)=0.477 so what does that make it? Or did I do it wrong -- since this time it's thicker instead of thinner, should I have done 10^3 so 3 times thicker actually means a thousand?

If you think Malilo's response actually means something, you're the biggest idiot on the internet.

Re:Stupid writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351982)

And you are the biggest (and fattest) loser

captcha: tacitly

Re:Stupid writing (3, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351470)

Fine - try looking at it a different way. Let's say that Europa has an atmospheric density of 100 units. If someone were to say that Rhea's was one time thinner, what would the density of Rhea's atmosphere be?

Someone wouldn't say "one time thinner".... But let's say someone said Rhea's atmosphere was twice as thin, two times thinner, half as thick, whatever you prefer, as Europa's then the density of Rhea's atmosphere would be 50 units.

Go read this explanation [theweatherprediction.com] of the difference in density between air and water, it will probably make this whole atmosphere thing make more sense.

Re:Stupid writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351522)

The point is two times thinner is not the same as half as thick.

This is because saying "two times thinner" is meaningless.

Re:Stupid writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351784)

It also says in the article that the atmosphere has 5 trillion times less oxygen than Earth's atmosphere.

Re:Stupid writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351268)

They wrote "100 times thinner" which means x/100.
To get x*(1-100) you would have to write "100 thinner" (without the word "times") just like you write "30% thinner" and not "30% times thinner" to say x*(1-0.3),

"Cargo" movie anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351196)

"Cargo" movie anyone?

John Varley Was Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351208)

Titanides !!

Call Gaea

Oxygen Starved Brains are good for Republicans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351226)

With so little oxygen in the air, mental retardation would likely occur in a matter of hours.

As we all know, mental retardation is good for Republican candidates, and a low tax, lousy government GOP/Tea Party regime will likely rule the planet until oxygen levels get high enough to sustain normal intelligence levels.

The real source of CO2 (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351272)

Redneck SUV-driving Rheaians. They fully believe that "we could use a bit of global warming around here!"

Re:The real source of CO2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351520)

Redneck SUV-driving Rheaians. They fully believe that "we could use a bit of global warming around here!"

Do you know how cold the beaches are in summer when you're a billion miles from the Sun? If you lived there, you wouldn't only be driving a school-bus sized SUV, you'd have a few cows around just so you could feed them chili with beans to generate even more methane and get even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Re:The real source of CO2 (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352176)

Do you know how cold the beaches are in summer when you're a billion miles from the Sun?

No, luckily I don't, but I surely can appreciate the unpleasant conditions.

BTW: you don't need to feed chili to your cows; they fart just fine with their regular intake of grass.

The Chinese (0, Troll)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351280)

When you detect elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere you probably have a Chinese power plant nearby.

Re:The Chinese (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351772)

Or an American one...

cool beans (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351346)

So when are we moving?

Oxygen? Carbon Dioxide? This means life! (2, Funny)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351506)

..and I, for one, welcome our new oxygen-breathing overlords!

Factoid! (3, Funny)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 2 years ago | (#34351532)

Cardbon Dioxide on Rhea is known as Dio-Rhea

Re:Factoid! (1)

Viperpete (1261530) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352762)

In Soviet Russia, jokes poop you.

Re:Factoid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34353632)

You're shitting me!

so the moon has dio-rhea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351822)

So the moon has dio-rhea. It had to be said. Besides that tub girl must be shitting herself over this.

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