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Tropical Storm Spotted on Saturn's Moon Titan

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posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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www.space.com...



Came across this and thought I'd share it with ATS.





A tropical storm was not what astronomers expected to see when they pointed their telescopes toward the equator of Saturn's moon Titan last summer. But that's exactly what they found on this beguiling moon, home to a weather system both eerily familiar and perplexingly strange. The discovery was announced today.





Pretty interesting so far, but it gets better.






Shouldn't be there

Clouds of vaporized methane are not uncommon on Titan, though they have never before been observed in Titan's tropics. But in April 2008, astronomers using the Gemini North telescope and NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii spotted a severe storm covering almost 2 million square miles (3 million square km) over the equator.

"The models predicted that the equatorial region should be very dry and should not support cloud formation," said astronomer Henry Roe of Lowell Observatory in Arizona. "But this episode created clouds over both the equator and the south pole. We don't know what set off that sequence, but something gave a pretty good kick to the atmosphere."


I wonder what kind of catalyst it would take to start a 3 million square km storm. Volcanoes possibly? The fact that all the planets in at least the inner solar system have been steadily warming?





news.yahoo.com...

[edit on 12-8-2009 by ZombieJesus]




posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 03:59 PM
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Wow, that's amazing. It seems that the Gas Giant's moons could have life on them. Either now or the distant future. Really makes you think about our solar system.



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:14 PM
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I recently posted a research project on titans earth-like characteristics here.

Titan's use of methane as a hydrological cycle mimics the way earth uses and processes water (Evaporate and Precipitate). This results in earth-like storms and weather issues.



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by Trams
 

The Universe never ceases to amaze me.

In Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, (the book not the movie), they travel to lapetus, another moon of Saturn, to investigate another monolith that is communicating with the one on the moon.

Maybe Arthur new something we dont



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by Trams
Wow, that's amazing. It seems that the Gas Giant's moons could have life on them. Either now or the distant future. Really makes you think about our solar system.


?? It should be life there now according to the Evolution theory, some billion years should do it !!

unless some one comes in with some 'arks' just as the sphere around it melts and rain down on Titan, then sow's the seeds of life, as here on Earth..



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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Scooby hit it right on.

Titan's atmospheric temperature is known for being almost dead on the triple point of methane, much like Earth's is dead on the triple point of water.

Therefore, Titan gets liquid, solid, and gaseous methane, giving it atmospheric conditions that tend to mimic those of earth.

Don't let that fool you though, the mean temperature of Titan is really low, below -100 Celsius if I remember right. So if life exists on Titan, it's not very complex.

The place to start looking for life in the solar system would be Europa in my opinion. Check it out.

www.solarviews.com...

[edit on 12-8-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by Scooby Doo
 


Thanks for the link, a lot of info there to soak up so I will read it when I get a chance.





Titan's use of methane as a hydrological cycle mimics the way earth uses and processes water (Evaporate and Precipitate). This results in earth-like storms and weather issues.


Very pertinent point, but as outlined in the article:



Clouds of vaporized methane are not uncommon on Titan, though they have never before been observed in Titan's tropics. But in April 2008, astronomers using the Gemini North telescope and NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii spotted a severe storm covering almost 2 million square miles (3 million square km) over the equator.

www.space.com...

That is a rather large storm, being that 3 million sq. km is somewhere between the size of India and Australia.



# 7 Australia: 7,617,930 sq km 2008 # 8 India: 2,973,190 sq km 2008

www.nationmaster.com...

Then considering Titans size relative to Earth:


www.jpl.nasa.gov...


If there is any life on Titan, I feel sorry for them right now







[edit on 12-8-2009 by ZombieJesus]



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by SeekerOfAUTMN
 





The place to start looking for life in the solar system would be Europa in my opinion. Check it out.


I definitely agree with you on that SOA

Europa is a very interesting planet and everything we know about it so far seems that may be capable of supporting some form of life underneath it's icy shell.

To bad the Europa Orbiter program was canceled in 2002


Fortunately the new Europa Jupiter System Mission proposal has a slated 2020 launch date.
en.wikipedia.org...

Hopefully they don't cancel this mission as well.






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