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Thread: Titan has Drizzling Methane Rain

  1. #1
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    Post Titan has Drizzling Methane Rain

    If you're planning a visit to Saturn's moon Titan, make sure you bring an umbrella. You'll need it. Not to protect you from water raining down; on frigid Titan, where temperatures dip below 180-degrees Celsius, all the water is completely frozen. ...

    Read the full blog entry

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
    If you're planning a visit to Saturn's moon Titan, make sure you bring an umbrella.
    I wonder if brave little Huygens has been drizzled upon, or even had its boat floated, out there on the flats. It looked like a region that was wetted on occasion, with rounded rocks all around and nearby highlands showing drainage channel systems.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  3. #3
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    "Once we saw this in both data sets, we altered our radiative transfer models for Titan and recognized that the only way to explain the data was if there was liquid or solid methane in the atmosphere," Adamkovics said. "This is a big step in helping us understand the extent to which solid clouds and liquids are spread throughout Titan's atmosphere."
    I don't doubt that this may be the best explanation, but there is never only one way to explain data; especially when the surface composition of Titan is so entirely up in the air.

    Too little is known about Titan as a whole, and the most obvious, most expected evidence of a 'wet' environment are missing: 1) Huygens' didn't find liquid in the air or on the surface, 2) to date there has been no published evidence of specular reflection, and 3) there are no obvious shorelines about the 'Titan Lakes'. All we know for certain is that the part of Titan we landed on is not a lake, and the terrain is consistent with a dry river bed.
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

  4. #4
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    Titan's morning weather sounds a bit like some weather Florida's been getting, except our rain's been in the afternoon.

    I do hope some confirmation will arrive about Titan's climate from future orbits by Cassini. All the more reason to ask for a mission extension or two.

  5. #5
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    I'm dancing in Methane, I'm singing in Methane - what a glorious feeling I'm happy again.

  6. #6
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    As I posted on the Lake Titan thread: Cassini is in the best position (Next to Huygens) to detect rain and the necessary spectral signature of 'methane drops'. Huygens did not find enough methane in the atmosphere to be consistent with a methane downpour, and Cassini is still looking for a smoking gun. Sorry, but the crowd of telescopes in Hawaii can't see the numbers on the jerseys.
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

  7. #7
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    Old thead. New data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    As I posted on the Lake Titan thread: Cassini is in the best position (Next to Huygens) to detect rain and the necessary spectral signature of 'methane drops'. Huygens did not find enough methane in the atmosphere to be consistent with a methane downpour, and Cassini is still looking for a smoking gun. Sorry, but the crowd of telescopes in Hawaii can't see the numbers on the jerseys.
    Downpours.

    Astronomy Now: Intense storms batter Saturn’s largest moon, scientists report

    Titan, the largest of Saturn’s more than 60 moons, has surprisingly intense rainstorms, according to research by a team of UCLA planetary scientists and geologists. Although the storms are relatively rare — they occur less than once per Titan year, which is 29 and a half Earth years — they occur much more frequently than the scientists expected.
    Deluges.

    “The most intense methane storms in our climate model dump at least a foot of rain a day, which comes close to what we saw in Houston from Hurricane Harvey this summer,” said Mitchell, the principal investigator of UCLA’s Titan climate modeling research group.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  8. #8
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    Wow. A ten year* come-back and it's hidden all the way down here.



    *) Sorry. It's ten years and almost two hours. One needs to be exact.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Sorry. It's ten years and almost two hours. One needs to be exact.
    Thanks for noticing. Pity my timing wasn't more accurate. I overslept that day and then everything I did was one REM cycle late.

    Does anybody really know what time it is?
    25 or 6 to 4


    This would have worked if the server wasn't running 6 minutes fast.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

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