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Waspie_Dwarf

New Views of Titan's Land of Lakes

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Cassini Gets New Views of Titan's Land of Lakes

PASADENA, Calif.-- With the sun now shining down over the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan, a little luck with the weather, and trajectories that put the spacecraft into optimal viewing positions, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained new pictures of the liquid methane and ethane seas and lakes that reside near Titan's north pole. The images reveal new clues about how the lakes formed and about Titan's Earth-like "hydrologic" cycle, which involves hydrocarbons rather than water.

The new images are available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/index.html.

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It absolutely blows my mind, the things we can do. Landing on and taking pictures of Titans surface is awesome.

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Um I don't think they've landed. This is all from fly-bys. I would also make sure it is understood that these lakes are hydrocarbons, not water. To my mind when they say this makes it "Earth-like," it is stretching it.

Of course they did land on Titan earlier.

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If we could create ships that gather the lakes, and return to earth, then we may have just found a replacement for Saudi Oil....

:D

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Yeah, I'm sure that'll work out cheaper.

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Yeah, I'm sure that'll work out cheaper.

Probably not, but it could spark our new push out into space....if nothing else to begin our blatant exploitation of our solar system's resources.....

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I suspect when we get to going out there regularly that we will find the most valuable resource is water.

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i love this, I just heard there's a dwarf planet called Ceres in our solar system. that most likely has water in or on it.

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The moonlets of Saturn are probably mostly ice, a large portion water but other ices too. The thing that will make water so important is not likely to be that it isn't there but that we need so much of it.

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If my memory is right isn't methane & ethane extremely flammable gases (at certain temperatures) so if someone did want to land on Titans surface wouldn't they have to be careful where they land. Or is it to cold for the gases to ignite. :unsure2:

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If my memory is right isn't methane & ethane extremely flammable gases (at certain temperatures) so if someone did want to land on Titans surface wouldn't they have to be careful where they land. Or is it to cold for the gases to ignite. :unsure2:

Ethane and methane are extremely flammable in the presence of oxygen. Since Titan does not have an oxygen atmosphere there can be no methane or ethane fires.

However on Titan oxygen would be a flammable gas and would burn if ignited.

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Didn't we once consider Titan habitable? I guess that's out the window now.

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Didn't we once consider Titan habitable? I guess that's out the window now.

Quite the opposite actually. The moons of the outer planets were all considered too cold for life. It was only with the discovery that some of these satellites were heated by tidal forces, meaning that could could have water oceans below an ice layer that it was seriously considered that some of them could harbour life.

With the extreme cold and hydrocarbons taking the role that water does on Earth any life on Titan would have to extremely exotic.

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Auh ! yes but what exotic Life it would be ! Can you just Imagine ?

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Can you just Imagine ?

No I can't, that's the point.

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If we could create ships that gather the lakes, and return to earth, then we may have just found a replacement for Saudi Oil....

:D

Except how would you keep it cool during re-entry? I know a Giant-normous Pipeline from a Space Station!

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