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stranger than even science fiction

So they're figuring out that the water vapour in Saturn's upper atmosphere is in a doughnut-shaped ring deposited by the moon Enceladus, which is apparently Saturn's personal showerhead that someone forgot to turn off.

Highlighting Plumes of Enceladus
(Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

More seriously, the moon has an underground saltwater sea (and some say the cavern system must be tremendous) that's spewing out from surface cracks in continuous geysers strong enough to send the water out into space. Some gets lost, some goes into Saturn's E-ring, but some falls on Saturn itself.

You can't make this stuff up.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
You really can't make stuff like that up--it's just too wild, and yet it's true.
Sep. 18th, 2011 06:25 am (UTC)
Lovely and incredible.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )