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Space Science

Oxygen Found Around Saturn's Moon Dione 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-plan-vacation-just-yet dept.
New submitter S810 writes "According to an article in Discovery News, oxygen was found by the Cassini spacecraft around Dione, one of Saturn's large moons. 'It is thought the oxygen is being produced via interactions between Saturn's powerful radiation belts and Dione's water ice. The radiation breaks the water molecules down, liberating oxygen into the moon's exosphere.' Hopefully this will open the door for more funding of research int the moons of Saturn and Jupiter."
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Oxygen Found Around Saturn's Moon Dione

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  • Why... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Friday March 02, 2012 @03:59PM (#39223987) Homepage

    Should I care and why would anyone increase funding because of this?
    Radiation + Water can often release O^n, this is pretty common knowledge.
    And both radiation and water are common.

  • Re:Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Friday March 02, 2012 @04:08PM (#39224123)

    Research into the worlds and universe that surrounds us is always a worthy goal, certainly much more so than terrorising middle easterners for their fossil fuels, so stick your jutting lower lip back into your checkbook and contribute something useful.

  • Re:Why... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by demachina (71715) on Friday March 02, 2012 @04:56PM (#39224903)

    The obsession with "finding life" is a case of extremely misplaced priorities. It is a worthwhile pursuit, and I'm not saying it shouldn't be pursued but it should NOT be the primary focus of space exploration. Finding life in our solar system is not a particularly high probability and if you do manage it there is a fair chance its going to be microscopic, so making it a primary focus of your research effort is setting yourself up to fail. The longer you keep doing it, the more money you spend, and the longer you go finding nothing, the higher the probababilty the people who fund you, and the public in general, will lose interest in funding you.

    Things like asteroid resource exploration or Mars colonization would be goals that would have tangible benefits in the long term, and would actually justify substantial R&D funding, especially as Earth becomes more and more resource challenged.

    A pitch based on their being Oxygen around Saturn so its extremely urgent we go looking for life there rings like a desperate act of researchers wanting to get new funding. Its not a visionary pitch.

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