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Cassini spots Nile-like river on Titan

Posted on Saturday, 15 December, 2012 | Comment icon 26 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

The massive hydrocarbon-filled river snakes its way over more than 250 miles of the Saturnian moon.

The image is being hailed as the first high-resolution photograph ever taken of a river system of this size somewhere other than the Earth. Despite its similarity to the river Nile, the Titan river would be quite unlike anything ever seen by humans - filled with a strange hydrocarbon liquid generated by ethane and methane raining from the skies.

"Though there are some short, local meanders, the relative straightness of the river valley suggests it follows the trace of at least one fault, similar to other large rivers running into the southern margin of this same Titan sea," said Cassini radar team associate Jani Radebaugh.

The full resolution image can be viewed - here.

"NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured a crisp image of a long river cutting across Saturn's huge moon Titan."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 December, 2012, 23:35
Yes, Lovelock proposes that the Earth is a self regulating system, he does not propose that the Earth is actually a living thing. There is a huge difference.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 December, 2012, 23:40
You really don't know what you are talking about do you? The Huygens probe was carried to Titan by Cassini. Huygens mission lasted only a few hours. That probe is long since dead. The radar map image (which this topic was supposed to be about before you started spouting your pseudo-scientific, nonsensical clap-trap) was made by the Cassini craft which is still operating, so the title is perfectly correct.
Comment icon #19 Posted by the L on 17 December, 2012, 5:50
To tell you the truth I dont follow much news about NASA mission with so much attention. Thanks for explaining. Anyway Cassini is just another astronomer or he did introduce something new?
Comment icon #20 Posted by the L on 17 December, 2012, 5:52
But to self regulate it Earth created life. Earth is in fact super organism. Thats how it is proposed. So if there Earth created life for own benefits so could Titan.
Comment icon #21 Posted by TheMolePatrol on 17 December, 2012, 19:16
That Huygens probe was sorta ghetto, wish NASA would have developed the whole package. But interesting none the less, I think I remember reading about how it only transmitted back half the data or something, the other half was lost. That Gaia theory is interesting, sounds like a good way of comparing how both extreames (hot and cold) on Earth can harbor different kinds of life. And they are not interchangeable. Meaning Earth has its own range for life, and so may Titan, but they are probably not interchangeable. So therefore we shouldn't go out searching for life strictly based on Earth&#... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Pyridium on 17 December, 2012, 19:31
What is the purpose of life? Life is a filter. Life absorbs energy to live. Some life developed the ability to consume other life forms and "filter" needed neutrients for continued and sustainable life while discarding usless or harmful elements or compounds. From the single cell amebae to a human body, all they do is filter elements and compounds found on earth. The Earth also filters different elements and compounds. The heat from the center lets elements form into pools. Gold atoms stick easier to other gold atoms. The Earth filters and mixes elements all the time while w... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by TheMolePatrol on 17 December, 2012, 19:37
Here's a video talking about the probe landing on Titan, shows some pictures
Comment icon #24 Posted by White Unicorn on 18 December, 2012, 0:44
When comparing geological processes, plants, microbes, animals you discover it is hard to come to a standard definition, that fits all of them, for life itself! I see where some people disagree since it's like intelligent or just conscious aware animals, where do you draw the lines and how can you measure consciousness of a different species. That's a subject for philosophers to argue, but it all comes down to an individual's personal definition of what they consider LIFE to be. By general definition earth is not a living thing but it sure mimics one is so true.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Drayno on 18 December, 2012, 3:16
This is actually really interesting..
Comment icon #26 Posted by the L on 18 December, 2012, 9:24
There is philosophers who claim that our brain is filter. Because if we realy understood and percive and observed what is all around us we would become loonatics. Brain in sense is silencer. Is that okay analogy?

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