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SCI/TECH: Cassini space probe "Shatters Titan Theories"

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posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 01:16 PM
On its first pass by Titan, Saturn's largest moon, the Cassini space probe took infrared photos of the moon's surface. The particular variations in brightness observed, including in a photograph taken July 2 of an area near its south pole, apparently contradict scientists' earlier belief that bright patches seen on the surface represented all of the water ice on Titan, which was thought to be pure water ice. Now, newly observed dark patches are said to point to ice composed of water and organic material.
A PROBE has pierced the haze around Titan, Saturn's biggest moon, revealing details that have shattered theories about its composition.
Scientists believed bright patches on its surface seen earlier were pure water ice.

But the first infrared images taken by Cassini revealed water ice as dark patches because it is mixed with material that may be organic, raining on to the surface.

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Cassini had earlier acquired photographs of Titan's methane clouds and possibly a large impact crater. Coming as close as 350,000 km of the moon, the Cassini probe was in a position to observe the surface with unprecedented distinctness.

While the atmosphere and soil of Titan might support the building blocks of life, it is not clear how life as we know it could develop at the temperatures on the moon: -297 degrees Fahrenheit, -183 degrees Celsius at the surface. Oxygen is lacking, while nitrogen and methane are present. The probe will come as close as 1200 km to the surface of Titan in October, yielding an even clearer picture of the moon below its atmosphere (which blocks nearly all light of most wavelengths).

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[edit on 4-7-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 08:33 PM
The universe is just amazing! I wish we would put more energy into exploration and less on fighting each other. With every new piece of information i shows us how much we really do not know. There is so much to learn!

posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 10:21 PM
never say never there is life in antartica even if its not that cold but still it may be possible we are comparing our life wit han unknow one so you never know on what enviroments life could grown on deny ignorance.

posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 10:37 PM
Its a shame we are only finding these thing out now we humans spend all are time and money these days on blowing one another up ,what a waste. Its such a rich and wonderful universe we have to learn and explore in we could be be foind better things with are world then what we are now. The picture from the probe make that point to all who view them.

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