We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:40 AM
Cassini Data: Saturn Moon May Have Rigid Ice Shell
An analysis of gravity and topography data from the Saturnian moon Titan obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggests there could be something unexpected about the moon's outer ice shell. The findings, published on Aug. 28 in the journal Nature, suggest that Titan's ice shell could be rigid, and that relatively small topographic features on the surface could be associated with large ice "roots" extending into the underlying ocean.
The study was led by planetary scientists Douglas Hemingway and Francis Nimmo at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who used data from Cassini. The researchers were surprised to find a counterintuitive relationship between gravity and topography.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001
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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:47 AM
I kind of think a rigid ice shell would maybe facilitate intelligent/technological life development. From what I have read a pretty solid sounding theory is that liquid water only planet/oids would suppress all but stone age tech due to making fire so hard to produce. Not saying I particularly expect to find life or intelligent life in our Solar system. Just saying, in general...
The ice roots make me think of the Icy Finger of Death video:
You always have the coolest post. I read that they were saying plate techtonics was not recycling Titan's ice shell, something I had never even considered before they ruled it out. I'm not sure why the idea of plate techtonics in ice seems so wild to me