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Space Science

The Rain On Saturn Falls Mainly From Space 75

The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers have discovered that the source of water in Saturn's upper atmosphere is none other than the geysers erupting from its moon Enceladus. The geysers spew water into space, most of which is lost. A small amount, though, falls to Saturn... equivalent to only about 7.5 kilos/second over the entire planet (PDF). A typical rainfall on Earth is 42 trillion times heavier."
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The Rain On Saturn Falls Mainly From Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Damn, that's cool..

    • Re:Space (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @08:04PM (#36889786) Journal

      Could you imagine if Earth's moon was the source of rainfall? What kind of mythology/traditions would we have come up with from that!?

      • by jamesh ( 87723 )

        Even today science would have trouble explaining how rain could originate from the Moon, which doesn't actually have much surface water on it... :p

        • Re:Space (Score:5, Funny)

          by Unkyjar ( 1148699 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @08:14PM (#36889888)

          Then your answer is no, you can't imagine what mythology/traditions would have arisen if rain came from the moon?

          • Imagination is a lot harder than knowledge.

          • No, his answer is that in the age where events like rain were explained by "mythology/tradition", people couldn't possibly have known it if rain originated from the moon.
            • Considering how well our ancient brethren figured out the movements of the stars? I don't see why it would be so hard for them to figure out that if the moon has a big geyser and a couple of days later it rains that the two are related. After all they built great temples aligned to the summer and winter solstices as well as devices like the Antikythera mechanism [] so I wouldn't say it was outside the realm of possibility.
        • by blair1q ( 305137 )

          But what if it used to, and it all ended up raining on Earth?

          Are you drinking moon water now?

      • The Greeks would have some weird story of how Luna/Selene "cries" or something, and Egyptians would have one of their animal-head-on-human-body dudes pouring water from the sky.

        As for the Judeo-Christian stuff... Well, I can't be sure, but I can tell you that it would be the cause of killing people.
        • This may be a shock to you, but there is nothing in Judeo-Christian beliefs to even suggest that they would kill over rain coming from the moon.
          Yes, that bias makes your butt look big.
          • You're right -- I was too specific. What I meant to say was: any religious belief had, as some point in time, people killing or dying for it. It's just that I don't think that these days someone would do anything violent in the name of Zeus or Ra. These days people kill and die for entirely different deities. History speaks for itself: just like people kill for what they know exists, they also kill for what they believe exists.

            If we had rain falling from the moon, different religions would have different
            • > These days people kill and die for entirely different deities.

              Mostly Mammon, I'd say, with Allah in a distant second place.

        • When I first read that I spit coffee out of my mouth laughing, then in a split second I realized how sadly true that statement is!
        • If it were a regular occurrence, then it might be the metaphorical basis of a proverb; in the new testament, it might be compared to the human soul, in the old testament, it might contribute to defining criteria for telling a fool from a wise man. If it were an uncommon occurrence, then it might be a contributing phenomenon to a miracle performed by a prophet, i.e., one of the plagues on Egypt associated with Moses.

  • This needs to be addressed, immediately. If the rain is coming from it's moon, then what will happen to all the whales?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    For geeks whose culture don't go beyond warp drives and Homer Simpson the title is an allusion to a popular 1960's musical [].
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not every piece of crap spewed out of Hollywood counts as "culture" in better educated circles. In fact, none do.

      • Self-important prick.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Nice to meet you. I am Anonymous Coward.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I think you used the term 'better educated circles' where you should have used 'elitist snobs'. There are plenty of 'better educated' people who enjoy movies, etc.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          "Elitist snobs" and "better educated" don't mean what you think they do.

    • Actually, if you'd read the page you link to, you'd find that the musical itself dates back to 1956. The version you refer to was the later film adaptation.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @08:16PM (#36889908) Homepage Journal

    [Frederick Lowe orchestral music swells]
    Professor Higgins (recitativo): by George she's go it!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I had to go read the article to realize... The 42 trillion conclusion compares the average "rainfall" across the ENTIRE planet of Saturn, versus the amount of rainfall in a single area of steady rain on earth, at the rate of 1 inch per hour.

    The average across the planet would be far far less, if we want to compare apples to kumquats.

  • Doesn't really have the right ring to it does it?
  • Damn! That doesn't even rhyme... What the hell is the matter with you people?

  • I guess on a terraforming planet, this would be the start of getting some real self sustaining atmosphere and biological step would be single cell organisms appearing, and so on....might be the next earth in a few million years if the moon is able to sustain enough rainfall...

  • On Saturn, people live to be two hundred and five. Going back to Saturn, where the air is clean....

    Anybody know what song this is from?

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.