Titan a 'Flammable' Moon Covered in Liquid Gas

Status
Not open for further replies.
D

drwayne

Guest
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=8&u=/nm/20050121/ts_nm/space_titan_dc_4<br /> <br /><br />By Ben Berkowitz <br /><br />LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Saturn's moon Titan is covered by "dirty" ice ridges and seas of liquid natural gas, a team of scientists said on Friday after a week of research into data from the space probe Huygens. <br /><br />"We've got a flammable world," said Toby Owen, an atmospheric scientist, at a news conference from European Space Agency offices in Paris monitored on NASA (news - web sites) TV. <br /><br />After a seven-year piggyback trip from Earth on board the Saturn probe Cassini, the European-designed Huygens separated in December and fell toward Titan, entering the moon's atmosphere last Friday. <br /><br />The probe, part of a $3 billion joint mission involving NASA and the European and Italian space agencies, sent back readings on the moon's atmosphere, composition and landscape. <br /><br />Slowed by parachutes, Huygens took more than two hours to float to the icy surface, where it defied expectations of a quick death and continued to transmit for hours. <br /><br />That surface, which scientists have said was the consistency of wet sand or even creme brulee, features ice rocks, channels, and abundant indications of liquid from rain. <br /><br />"There's lots of evidence of fluid flow," said Marty Tomasko, the principal investigator for Huygens' on-board imaging instruments. While it does not rain every day on Titan, Tomasko and colleagues speculated there must be some sort of regular precipitation on the surface. <br /><br />The methane can exist in liquid form on Titan's surface because it is so cold, -290 degrees Fahrenheit (-179 degrees Celsius). Methane is also a key component in Titan's atmosphere, along with nitrogen. But as opposed to the Earth, the atmosphe <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts