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View Full Version : Titan: Are Reporters Exaggerating The Facts?



Mr. Milton Banana
2005-Jan-22, 06:39 PM
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/01/22/MNGN2AUP8M1.DTL

According to the report at this link, Titan "is a violently active world with torrential rains, ice-capped hills, flooding rivers, islands emerging from shallow lakes and bursts of methane gas erupting like geysers."

How much of this is truth, and how much of this is the writer exaggerating things to make the story more enticing to readers?

I have yet to read about "torrential rains", "flooding rivers" and "bursts of methane gas erupting like geysers." While it would be interesting if it were true, I'd rather not have the facts be exaggerated. [-X

But then again, I suppose a story about a moon with bland weather isn't that interesting. :roll:

voyager_3
2005-Jan-22, 08:12 PM
You can't make general comments like those about the climate and geology of a planet or moon from one landing. If we get a long term observation programme on Titan then I'm sure that it will show that Titanian weather varies from day to day like Earth's, some days dry, other wet with methane rain showers of varying intensity and occassional severe storms.

Journalists love to embelish stories but Titan doesn't need that, it's already an amazing place.

Spacewriter
2005-Jan-22, 09:29 PM
Please point out where these stories are found and who's making the statements so we have a clearer idea to what you're referring.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-22, 10:11 PM
Spacewriter, there's a handy link on top of this thread. :)


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/01/22/MNGN2AUP8M1.DTL

According to the report at this link,...

Mr. Milton Banana
2005-Jan-22, 10:27 PM
You can't make general comments like those about the climate and geology of a planet or moon from one landing. If we get a long term observation programme on Titan then I'm sure that it will show that Titanian weather varies from day to day like Earth's, some days dry, other wet with methane rain showers of varying intensity and occassional severe storms.

Journalists love to embelish stories but Titan doesn't need that, it's already an amazing place.

Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

This is just poor journalism, as far as I'm concerned.

:^o

synthomus
2005-Jan-22, 10:55 PM
Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

This is just poor journalism, as far as I'm concerned.

:^o

[-X Disagreed. The article is basically a pepped up version of yesterday's ESA press release titled "Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan" (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/SEMHB881Y3E_0.html). I like the title and the general focus of the ESA paper and think it's their best attempt so far in popularizing the yield of Huygens' landing. The way the SF Chronicle jumps on the story and dramatizes it is fairly kosher and shows that ESA's latest release worked. Just compare how it changed the SF Chronicle's previous stand (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19074) within just a few days.

Spacewriter
2005-Jan-22, 11:28 PM
Spacewriter, there's a handy link on top of this thread. :)


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/01/22/MNGN2AUP8M1.DTL

According to the report at this link,...

I saw that one. A reference was made to other stories in the second post. That's what I was asking about.

Spacewriter
2005-Jan-22, 11:30 PM
Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

This is just poor journalism, as far as I'm concerned.

:^o

[-X Disagreed. The article is basically a pepped up version of yesterday's ESA press release titled "Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan" (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/SEMHB881Y3E_0.html). I like the title and the general focus of the ESA paper and think it's their best attempt so far in popularizing the yield of Huygens' landing. The way the SF Chronicle jumps on the story and dramatizes it is fairly kosher and shows that ESA's latest release worked. Just compare how it changed the SF Chronicle's previous stand (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19074) within just a few days.

Was hoping that someone would point out the press release. If the scientists can't describe their work dramatically or have fun with it, then who can??

Mr. Milton Banana
2005-Jan-23, 12:55 AM
Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

This is just poor journalism, as far as I'm concerned.

:^o

[-X Disagreed. The article is basically a pepped up version of yesterday's ESA press release titled "Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan" (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/SEMHB881Y3E_0.html). I like the title and the general focus of the ESA paper and think it's their best attempt so far in popularizing the yield of Huygens' landing. The way the SF Chronicle jumps on the story and dramatizes it is fairly kosher and shows that ESA's latest release worked. Just compare how it changed the SF Chronicle's previous stand (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19074) within just a few days.

Frankly, I still think it's poor journalism, so we'll have to agree to disagree.

The ESA report is "just the facts, ma'am." If Titan were truly a "violently active world", as depicted by ESA, then I could accept that. I'm not interested in "pepped-up" versions. As voyager_3 wrote, Titan doesn't need embellishing. It's an amazing place by itself. If other folks fail to see that, well-it's their loss.

synthomus
2005-Jan-23, 02:47 AM
Frankly, I still think it's poor journalism, so we'll have to agree to disagree.

The ESA report is "just the facts, ma'am." If Titan were truly a "violently active world", as depicted by ESA, then I could accept that. I'm not interested in "pepped-up" versions. As voyager_3 wrote, Titan doesn't need embellishing. It's an amazing place by itself. If other folks fail to see that, well-it's their loss.

Well, I understand your point and agree that "violently active world" is kind of over the top. But after all, I think you and many other space enthusiasts have better sources of information than daily papers anyway. As for the more casual readers of the article, I consider that partly overstated vocabulary more as a catalyst in helping to bring them the interesting facts about Titan to mind. Sure, it's not everyone's cup of tea.

expirationdate
2005-Jan-23, 03:59 AM
You can't make general comments like those about the climate and geology of a planet or moon from one landing.

Well that I guess is partialy true. It could be that the weather is that way now and may constantly change or it may infact turn out to have a really chaotic weather cycle as explained by the writer.

Spacewriter
2007-Jan-01, 01:42 AM
Spacewriter, there's a handy link on top of this thread. :)

Yes, quite right. My bad for misreading the original intent.