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Huygens Probe Enters Titans Atmosphere (from ATSNN)

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posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 06:30 AM
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Titan has been an enigma to astronomer's for quite some time. We have not had much chance to look at the surface, which hides behind the thickest atmosphere of any moon in the solar system. When we have seen it, we have ended up with more questions than answers- the moon is covered in black seas which we think could be liquid methane. There is a lot to learn, and for a few brief minutes we are going to be learning quite a bit.
 



story.news.yahoo.com


The Huygens probe had successfully restarted its systems and the mission, which could provide clues to how life arose on Earth, was going well, said Roberto Lo Verda, a spokesman for the European Space Agency.

Its slow parachute descent to the moon's reddish surface was expected to take about 2 1/2 hours, during which it will use a special camera and instruments to collect information on wind speeds and the makeup of Titan's atmosphere. The data will be transmitted back to Cassini, which will relay it to NASA (news - web sites)'s Deep Space Network in California and on to ESA controllers in Darmstadt, Germany.

Engineers at ESA are counting on the probe having at least three minutes to transmit information and images from Titan's surface, before its battery runs out or Cassini gets out of range.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


If Titan provides the insight into the history of Earth's atmosphere that we think it will, whatever the probe tells us could spark quite a bit of discussion. Theoretically we could get in there and find out that the seas are not just methane but "primordial soup" as evolutionary theory refers to it. It would be nice to discover something so amazing- 7 years and 3 billion dollars is a big investment.




posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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This bears clarification, since I didn't get to completely remake the post as I had wanted to.

Titan has lines on its surface which may signify tectonic activity. This could mean geothermal heat. Titan's composition is rock and ice, which could mean liquid water around geothermal vents.
Titan has a thick nitrogen rich atmosphere- I think the only one other than ours in this system.

If we got EXTREMELY lucky, we could actually find life on Titan.
On the other hand, Titan is has no magnetic field and occasionally is swept by solar wind- which could pose a problem for life.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:18 AM
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Finding life on Titan would be the score of the century. I am concerned about the solar winds decimating life that might have existed, but there is something to consider, if there is enough water around these vents, any life living by the vents could be shielded somwhat, from the winds.
Here on earth, it is mostly crustacian life that exist by these vents. If the same type of creature evolced on titan, these soft shelled creatures might have adapted to the winds and developed a hardened thick shell for protection. Just some speculation from me.


[edit on 1/14/05 by Kidfinger]



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:28 AM
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I just posted an update to the main story. Scientist belive that the probe has made landfall and is still transmitting data.:





The probe landed on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan this morning around 7:45 ET, reported elated scientists from the European Space Agency, who are eagerly awaiting data about the cloud-shrouded moon.

"We have a signal. We know that Huygens is alive meaning the dream is alive," said Jean-Jacques Dordain director general for ESA which designed Huygens. "This is already an engineering success and we will see, later this afternoon, if this is a scientific success."

Grinning scientists watching from the ESA operations center in Germany said the first obstacle -- a tricky atmospheric entry -- had been a great engineering feat. Time will tell if all of Huygens' precious data will reach Earth. The probe will continue sending data until its batteries run out or Cassini, the satellite orbiting Saturn relaying Huygens' signal, passes over the moon's horizon in about two hours' time.

www.cnn.com...



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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This mission is a complete waste of $$$. Period. This money could be better spent "elsewhere". A mission to mars, yes, but this is just a waste.......

[edit of evil intent..."be gone"]

[edit on 14-1-2005 by DrHoracid]



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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:shk: please stay on topic in this thread

Thanks



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
I just posted an update to the main story. Scientist belive that the probe has made landfall and is still transmitting data.:




Any estimate on when we might be privy to some of the info?



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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Well Horacid, we sure could have killed a lot of innocent people with that 3.3 billion dollars- except that it's a European probe.

Anyway is there any chance we can talk about the prospects for the find of the millenium without digressing into the single most over-rated conversation topic on ATS (Iraq)?

[edit on 14-1-2005 by The Vagabond]



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
Well Horacid, we sure could have killed a lot of innocent people with that 3.3 billion dollars- except that it's a European probe.

Anyway is there any chance we can talk about the prospects for the find of the millenium without digressing into the single most over-rated conversation topic on ATS (Iraq)?

[edit on 14-1-2005 by The Vagabond]


OK, staying on topic, this mission was a waste of euro-trash "euro's". The main purpose was to find what? Seriously what is the "quoted" mission statement?



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
This mission is a complete waste of $$$. Period. This money could be better spent "elsewhere". A mission to mars, yes, but this is just a waste.......

[edit of evil intent..."be gone"]

[edit on 14-1-2005 by DrHoracid]


Are you mad?
This is a GREAT day for space exploration!!
Titan is the only moon in our solar system with a thick atmosphere (thicker than ours!)and one of the last true mysteries of near space.
Not to mention the good will this brings with it as this was a joint endeavor
by the best and brightest minds on earth,a true feat of engineering.
Titan is believed to be very much like early earth,and in that sense it may help us understand how life developed on earth.
How is this a waste of money??how can someone poopoo on such a victory for mankind and science?you have the right to your own opinion,and i respect that,but i still think your totally wrong.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 09:16 AM
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As with ALL nasa projects this too has a dark underbelly. There is always something "else" being done. Keep that in mind.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
As with ALL nasa projects this too has a dark underbelly. There is always something "else" being done. Keep that in mind.


A wonderfully paranoid and completely unsubstantiated claim if I've ever seen one.

Titan is the closest thing to an Earthlike environment with atmosphere that we've found. Studying Titan could aid us in our considerations of future plans for colonizing outside of earth.

Also, Titan has an incredible weath of hydrocarbon fuel, which could be useful for heating and short-range propulsion for prospective settlements in that area of the solar system.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 09:28 AM
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How much Oxygen does Titan have though. You gotta have O2 to start a fire so to speak, unless you're talking about fuel cells then its a moot issue.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
How much Oxygen does Titan have though. You gotta have O2 to start a fire so to speak, unless you're talking about fuel cells then its a moot issue.


It's believed to have next to zero oxygen.
But,the truth be told,we dont know whats up there,other than its COVERED in organic molecules,and maybe a complex hydrocarbon wet dream.


(spelling edit Durrrrrr)

[edit on 14-1-2005 by Samhain]



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 09:51 AM
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Oxygen in the atmosphere is supposed to be negligible, but that doesn't mean there isn't any on the planet does it? It would only mean that it's locked up in organic compounds with all of that carbon and hydrogen.

Complex life, if it were to develop there, hypothetically, would be a little strange. If it didn't need oxygen it could probably breathe for nutrition. If it did nead oxygen it would likely have to consume and store it rather than breate it. Just speculation though,



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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Something to consider here. We are basing all of our assumptions on the belief that if we do find life, it will be carbon based. What if it was silica based? Could be something we are not even capable of imagining.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 11:05 AM
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Well, when they scanned it they were suprised to see that there were few craters this means that it is a "living" envoriment. But to say there is life on titan in complex form is really ridiculous! But i believe there are single organism's there 8), We will just have to wait and watch!



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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If anyone has the nasa channel i suguest u watch it, the ESA is having a conference over the info from hygens probe!



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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Tonight on the discovery science channel, there is a one or two hour show on about it. Not sure just how muh of the info from the probe will be revealed, but it is supposed to be a live event.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by Kidfinger
Tonight on the discovery science channel, there is a one or two hour show on about it. Not sure just how muh of the info from the probe will be revealed, but it is supposed to be a live event.


aye that is on bbc2 as well tonight,23:30 GMT hopefully a few pictureswill be shown!



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