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The Mystery of the Missing Waves on Titan

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf


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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:04 PM

ScienceCasts: The Mystery of the Missing Waves on Titan

Visit http://science.nasa.gov/ for breaking science news.

Saturn's giant moon Titan is dotted with hydrocarbon lakes and seas that bear an uncanny resemblance to bodies of water on Earth. Strangely, though, Titan's lakes and seas have no waves.

Source: Science@NASA - YouTube Channel

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#2    Mikko-kun


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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:21 PM

If you think of a swimming pool or a puddle of water, what makes waves come there? Rain, animal movement and wind, those three at least. Waves tend to wane away after a time, they dont last forever if not recreated. That said, I think it's just great we have such optic tools we can see whether Saturn's moon has waves or not there.

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#3    keithisco


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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:27 PM

Unfortunately I cant play the video on my stupid Work Laptop (Security Issues).

That said, wave formation on the Earth is dependent on Solar / Ttidal / Atmospheric interractions so perhaps the Atmosphere on Titan is not so dynamic being so far from the Sun?

A little more research a la web has turned up this:

"We now know that the wind speeds predicted during the times Cassini has observed Titan have been below the threshold necessary to generate waves," Hayes said. "What is exciting, however, is that the wind speeds predicted during northern spring and summer approach those necessary to generate wind waves in liquid ethane and/or methane. It may soon be possible to catch a wave in one of the solar system's most exotic locations."
The new model found that winds of 1 to 2 mph (2 to 3 kilometers per hour) are needed to generate waves on Titan lakes, a speed that has not yet been reached during Titan's currently calm period. But as Titan's northern hemisphere approaches spring and summer, other models predict the winds may increase to 2 mph (3 kilometers per hour) or faster. Depending on the composition of the lakes, winds of that speed could be enough to produce waves 0.5 foot (0.15 meter) high."

Courtesy of ScienceDaily.com: LINK http://www.scienceda...30522133204.htm

Edited by keithisco, 19 July 2013 - 05:29 PM.

#4    kannin


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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:53 PM

very very interesting. really makes you think

#5    Spacenut56


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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:59 PM

Titan is just such an interesting place. I read anything and everything I come upon about it. Scientists, most of them, believe Titan is where Earth was at millions of years ago. It definitely bears watching.

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