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Fraser
2003-Oct-03, 04:25 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers from Cornell university have used the Arecibo radio telescope to peer through the thick clouds on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The radar signatures on the surface of Titan seem to indicate a liquid surface; although, the researchers say the signals could also mean smooth solid surfaces too. More answers will come next year when the Huygens probe carried by the Cassini spacecraft will drop through the clouds and send back information about the surface of Titan.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

VARN
2003-Oct-05, 10:39 PM
I wonder if they are taking the same precautions that they are taking with Europa unless they have already determined that there is no life on it maybe humane cannot survive but other things might.

Fraser
2003-Oct-05, 11:03 PM
Wow, good question. I'll ask the ESA.

Matthew
2003-Oct-06, 07:27 AM
Can you just ask the ESA a question? How?

IonDrive
2003-Oct-08, 08:38 PM
I guess they just don't have to take any precautions because it's so freaking cold on Titan that any bacteria from earth would die off there anyway. It supposedly rains Methane there, after all!

I, Brian
2003-Oct-10, 07:46 PM
The radar probe doesn;t really tell us anything new.

I guess in simple terms, it simply makes sure that Titan isn;t just a cloudy ball of flat ice. I guess it's good to see the current perception sustained - thus far. Not often that has happened in space exploration. :)

The landing of the Huygens Probe in 2005 is something that gets myself incredibly excited.

zephyr46
2003-Oct-13, 03:00 AM
I read a story about some astronomers who where watching Titan between hubble shots :huh: .
I wonder about bugs in space, anything from earth that survives to Titan would surely reek havoc, and we could only be talking about extremophiles, and ones that could only get past any quarantine checks nasa uses. Should be right, but if history has a lesson on introduced species, you don't see them coming or going, most recent here in Australia the Fire Ant (http://ipmworld.umn.edu/chapters/lockley.htm), and it looks like the USA is aware of what I am talking about :(

IonDrive
2003-Oct-29, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by zephyr46@Oct 13 2003, 03:00 AM
I read a story about some astronomers who where watching Titan between hubble shots :huh: .
I wonder about bugs in space, anything from earth that survives to Titan would surely reek havoc, and we could only be talking about extremophiles, and ones that could only get past any quarantine checks nasa uses. Should be right, but if history has a lesson on introduced species, you don't see them coming or going, most recent here in Australia the Fire Ant (http://ipmworld.umn.edu/chapters/lockley.htm), and it looks like the USA is aware of what I am talking about :(
Yes, but the temperature difference between North and South America is not 160 degrees on the Celsius scale (or Kelvin scale if you prefer that) :)
(read that fire ant webpage)

Also, it's actually not even a question about whether extremophiles would survive in an environment that cold, but whether they would still show any significant activity (produce chemicals and stuff). I don't think so, and if they don't show any biological activity, could they really reek havoc on any "Titan-Flora"?