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Saturn's moon Titan was once thought to conceal a global ocean of methane and ethane beneath its smoggy atmosphere. However, while the landforms seen by Cassini and Huygens show ample evidence of past modification by the action of flowing liquids, actual bodies of present liquid have proven elusive through more than two years of investigation. Until now. During a July 22, 2006 flyby, Cassini's RADAR instrument has finally unveiled what appears to be a land of lakes in Titan's northern polar regions.
Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
There's nothing wrong with sharing your opinion - no one said you couldn't do that. Just some of us have differing opinions and would like to know how/why you came to have yours. Is that wrong of us? I don't think so either...
If you think there is life there, why don't you tell us why, how you think it would survive, where you feel it would live, etc? It's really easy to come online and say "Blah blah blah," but it takes a lot more to come online and say "Blah blah blah because..." Could you take that extra step?
Originally posted by Prote
Do you really think we won't get a tad off topic if I start posting all the stuff relating to how I draw a conclusion or explaining why I believe what I do.
Originally posted by hoeon
i say photoshop, they did not even bring men to the moon how could they come so close to titan?
or have we been to mars in the 60ties already? were the 2 shuttleaccidents faked and did they use the shuttles to bring down the WTC instead(you read it here first, remember to credit me if you use it)?
"The news is lakes, lots of lakes!" said Cassini RADAR team member Rosaly Lopes. The lake-like features are "circular or kidney-shaped and very radar-dark -- the darkest things we have seen. Morphologically, they look much like lakes on Earth. There are drainage features around the sides of lakes."
Originally posted by MCory1
Wow, lots of stuff in this thread; where to start?
Prote: if I may ask for a large favor--please don't delete your opening comments like that in the future. I understand why you did it, but it took me about five minutes reading back and forth to figure out why you were getting reamed for having a conspiracy slant. All I saw was an article excerpt and a link; thought I was loosing what little mind I had left.
On the main topic (ie the lakes in particular), I think this is a great discovery. It's the first I've heard of surface liquid--outside of molten rock--being discovered elsewhere. I know Europa is claimed to have oceans under it's surface; decent difference there though. BTW, are Europa's oceans actually confirmed, or just speculation?
I'm sure NASA (amongst countless other gov't entities) would definitely withold information from the general public. For starters, they would want to ensure they understand perfectly what information they have before releasing it. It's not exactly good publicity to say something like "We found this neat little thingamajigger on a picture. Any ideas? Anyone?" Once they have at least a good theory of what something is though, they'll let it out.
Aside from that, remember the hubub over the Mars rock? The official line was something like "we have a meteorite that has features that might be evidence of possible organic activity." The media took that and changed it into "we've found life on Mars." If I were in their shoes, I'd be very leary of letting out anything that might have any such connotations.
Just my thoughts. Good find though, BTW.
New research from NASA, published in the journal Nature suggests that it's always raining on Titan. Not thunderstorms, but a low level liquid methane drizzle that never stops. When Huygens landed onto the surface of Titan, it came down with a splat, presumably into mud. Scientists estimate that the amount of rain amounts to about 5 cm (2 inches) a year of accumulation - the same amount that falls in Death Valley on Earth. But this rain falls steadily, keeping the ground relatively damp.
When ESA’s Huygens probe landed on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan last year, it continued to transmit data for 71 minutes. The signal relayed through Cassini had a strange fluctuation in power as the angle between the lander and spacecraft changed. Researchers were able to reproduce this power oscillation when they realized that the signal was bouncing off of pebbles on Titan’s surface. They were able calculate that the surface around Huygens is mostly flat
Originally posted by Prote
Agreed. The reason I think this is significant is because they have been adamant that all other planets and moons in our solar system are dead or void of life. In the event this is not the case, they have to get us used to the idea about life elsewhere but it needs to be done slowly. I am just waiting for something like this Titan lakes to show up so in a few years time, they can say, hey there is life albeit micribes as we suspected. No danger etc and BTW its on a tiny rocky body a few hundred million miles away. No panic there but a small step in human de sensitisation to "alien" life.