Elon Musk recently discovered terrible things on the planet Saturn: Elon Musk is very much interested in what happens in outer space; he never fails to amaze the world, and this time he has discovered some terrifying things about the planet Saturn. The tech billionaire says the Cassini spacecraft has witnessed something never before seen on any other planet.
The latest images received from Saturn show a hurricane-like storm on its the South Pole, with a well-developed eye ringed by towering clouds. We’ll be looking at mind-boggling discoveries about Saturn and its mysterious moon Enceladus, which might support alien life.
We keep getting clues that basic life forms might have developed on other planets or their moons. That’s why our quest for alien life has not stopped. But in most scientific fields, one step forward is followed by two steps back.
Research carried out as recently as last year’s December shows that some gasses found in the clouds of Venus could be a sign of life, but that theory has been countered with studies that questioned its findings. Scientists have not given up on their quest for life in outer space.
The studies conducted in this regard indicate that the search for life in our solar system has broadened beyond the initial assumption that life would be found on planets like Mars or Venus, which are closer to us. Today, we will be discussing what Elon Musk has said about the possibility of life on planet Saturn.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second-largest planet in our solar system. On a memorable evening in 1610, Galileo was sitting in his observatory tower in Florence when he saw Saturn through his perspective glass. At the time, Saturn was regarded as the last distant planet in the solar system.
This planet is adorned with thousands of beautiful rings, it is not the only planet to have rings made of chunks of ice and rocks, but no planet has rings as spectacular or complicated as Saturn’s rings. Like the gas giant Jupiter, Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium, but the recent discoveries about the planet shocked us.
The hurricane on Saturn was first spotted on April 29, 2013, by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997 at the cost of 3.9 billion dollars. In high-resolution pictures and videos provided by Cassini, scientists have observed the hurricane eye, which is about 1,250 miles wide. It is twenty times larger than the average hurricane eye on earth.
The hurricane itself is two-thirds the diameter of the earth. There are thin bright clouds at the outer edge of the hurricane traveling at 330 miles per hour, and the hurricane swirls inside a large, mysterious, six-sided weather pattern known as the hexagon.
Andrew Ingersoll, Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said the whole team did a double-take when they saw the vortex because it looks so much like the hurricanes we have on earth.
The vortex is there on Saturn, on a much larger scale, and it is getting by somehow on the small amounts of water vapor in its hydrogen atmosphere. He went on to say that although it looks like a hurricane, it doesn’t behave like one. Scientists have done an in-depth analysis of the hurricane.
From the images revealed by Cassini’s camera over a 3-hour period, the winds around Saturn’s poles are blowing at the speed of 550 kilometers per hour. Cassini also saw the shadow cast by a ring of towering clouds surrounding the pole and two spiral arms of clouds extending from the center ring.
These ring clouds are 3275 kilometers above those in the center of the storm and are 2 to 5 times taller than the clouds of hurricanes and thunderstorms on earth. This kind of hurricane has not been seen on any planet other than earth. Jupiter’s great red spot, which is larger than Saturn’s polar storm, has no eye or eyewall.
There is a significant difference between Saturn’s hurricanes and hurricanes on earth. The hurricane on Saturn is much bigger than the ones on earth, and it is surprisingly fast. The winds in the eyewall of Saturn’s hurricane blow more than four times faster than hurricane-force winds on earth.
Earth’s hurricanes always move around, but Saturn’s hurricane is locked in one spot in the planet’s north pole. On Earth, hurricanes drift to the north because of the forces acting on the fast swirls of the wind as the planet rotates.
But the hurricane on Saturn doesn’t drift because it is as far north as possible. Kunio Sayanagi, a Cassini imaging team associate at Hampton University in Hampton, said, “The polar hurricane has nowhere else to go, and that’s likely why it is stuck at the pole.”
Saturn is a gaseous planet, and this storm formed without an ocean at its base. Observations taken over the years as the South Pole season changes from summer to fall will help scientists understand the role seasons play in driving the dramatic meteorology at Saturn’s the South Pole.
Researchers believe that Saturn’s moon Enceladus might support extraterrestrial life despite the hurricanes and storms. Scientists and researchers have discovered that Enceladus’ oceans are more complex than first believed.
Using the Cassini spacecraft, they found out that the moon’s oceans shoot plumes of carbon dioxide into space. Christopher Glein, a researcher at Southwest Research Institute, said, “By understanding the composition, not the plume, we can learn about what the ocean is like, how it got to be this way and whether it provides environments where life as we know it could survive.”
He further added, “We came up with a new technique for analyzing the plume composition to estimate the concentration of dissolved CO2 in the ocean.” This technique enabled scientists to probe deeper internal processes.”
Combined with previous discoveries of molecular hydrogen and silicon, the abundance of carbon dioxide reacting with the core of the Moon and the water in the moon’s subsurface oceans adds credence to the idea that there are energy sources on Enceladus that could support life.
Enceladus is an icy moon of Saturn; it was overlooked by astronomers who thought the moon was too cold for life to have evolved, just like they did with one of Jupiter’s moons: Europa. Thanks to scientific discoveries, scientists have begun to focus on the possibility that these Celestial bodies might be harboring microbial life.
Another terrific discovery about Saturn is the strange, intense radio emissions captured by scientists. Scientists have discovered similar radio waves naturally created by the planet’s spinning core on Jupiter. The radio signal discovered by Cassini on Saturn is called the Saturn Kilometric Radiation.
It is different in the northern and southern hemispheres, and the radio-wave patterns change with the seasons. The radio waves were recorded by Cassini’s radio and plasma instruments, and they have been converted to audio recordings.
It has been discovered that they are related to the auroras near Saturn’s poles. These Auroras are similar to the Southern and Northern lights we have on earth, so scientists still think the idea of making Saturn habitable is viable.
There are still a lot of unknowns about the planet, but Elon Musk still has hopes about making Mars habitable. He thinks it would be a way better planet for humanity. Let’s make a comparison between Mars and the other planets so we can see why it is a more viable option.
The atmosphere of Mars is way less dense than that of earth, but the climate of the red planet shares many similarities with our home planet. Similarities like ice clouds, changing winds, seasons, dust storms, and many more. Musk has always strived to bring something new to the world.
Now that earth has had its fill of new things, he has set his gaze on exploring and bringing new things to outer space. We don’t know how Musk came about the idea of colonizing Mars. Even when he realized that no one was pursuing the same goal or working on something similar, he didn’t give up.
He keeps working on it, investing finances, time, and expertise to make it possible. Musk plans to build a full-sized city on Mars, open to regular people, not just astronauts or government-appointed officials or scientists and researchers. He has also said that people would be able to pay for their flight to Mars with a loan.
Once they have landed on the red planet, they would pay off the loan by working on Mars City due to the anticipated labor shortage. Musk has acknowledged that the colonization of Mars would be expensive and dangerous.
He has all the money in the world and can live comfortably on earth without having to work a day in his life anymore. But this billionaire seems to be committed to dying on Mars, not from dying upon impact or the planet’s elements, but of old age. Musk’s plan to build a city on Mars is a life insurance policy.
Just in case we mess up our beautiful blue planet and cause a catastrophe that threatens all life on Earth, we can have a safe place in space where we can seek refuge and rebuild.
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