Advertisement

Saturn’s Rings Have Their Own Atmosphere

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Saturn’s rings have an atmosphere distinct from the planet’s, the European Space Agency said Wednesday, citing data from NASA’s Cassini craft.

The atmosphere around the rings appears to be composed mainly of molecular oxygen, in which two atoms of the element are bonded together. Energy from the sun forces water molecules to break from the rings, which are composed of water ice and dust, and these are then broken up, fueling the rings’ atmosphere, the European Space Agency said.


Advertisement
Advertisement