Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Fishing on Titan

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Lakes on Titan. Credit: NASA

Another amazing radar image from the Cassini-Huygens mission. This is more proof that Titan is the closest thing we have found yet to Earth’s sister world. Those are lakes in the picture, lakes that are in many ways similar to lakes on Earth, miles to tens of miles across. They are filled by “rain,” and possibly a “water table” supplies liquid to some of the smaller more isolated lakes. This could easily be mistaken for a Satellite radar photo of Minnesota or Finland, that’s how close to Earth it is.

This image is assembled from multiple radar images taken through Titan’s thick hazy atmosphere, the colours have been added. The liquid in the lakes is methane or maybe some mix of methane and ethane. And yes, it’s nearly 200C below zero. Details, details. I can still imagine boating on a thick dark oily lake. Orange clouds scud across the orange sky, sometimes thinning enough to glimpse a gigantic Saturn hanging above. Occasional lighting strokes illuminate the low sooty hills on shore. Another idyllic day on Titan.

I know this is old news by blogosphere standards, this pic was released a few weeks ago. I just thought it was so cool I wanted to share it with my readers. Centuries from now the exploration of Titan may be the only thing people remember about this era, it’s that important.

(NASA images are public domain and may be used freely so long as they are not used in such a way as to imply NASA is endorsing a product. NASA does not endorse Doug’s Darkworld and no such implication is meant or implied. Doug’s Darkworld does however endorse and support NASA in their endeavours.)


Written by unitedcats

January 20, 2007 at 9:39 am

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