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Cassini finds evidence of giant hydrocarbon lakes on moon Titan
AP - Bakersfield Californian ^ | 7/24/06 | Alicia Chang - ap

Posted on 07/24/2006 6:56:41 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

Scientists said Monday they have found the first widespread evidence of giant hydrocarbon lakes on the surface of Saturn's planet-size moon Titan.

The cluster of hydrocarbon lakes was spotted near Titan's frigid north pole during a weekend flyby by the international Cassini spacecraft, which flew within 590 miles of the moon.

Researchers counted about a dozen lakes ranging from 6 miles to 62 miles wide. Some lakes, which appeared as dark patches in radar images, were connected by channels while others had tributaries flowing into them. Several were dried up, but the ones that contained liquid were most likely a mix of methane and ethane.

"It was a real potpourri," said Cassini scientist Jonathan Lunine of the University of Arizona.

Titan is one of two moons in the solar system known to possess a significant atmosphere similar to primordial Earth. But scientists have long puzzled over the source of its hazy atmosphere rich in nitrogen and methane.

Scientists believe methane gas breaks up in Titan's atmosphere and forms smog clouds that then rain methane down to the surface. But the source of methane inside the moon, which is releasing the gas into the atmosphere is still unknown, Lunine said.

Last year, Cassini found what appeared to be a liquid hydrocarbon lake about the size of Lake Ontario on Titan's south pole. But the recent flyby marked the first time the spacecraft spied a multitude of lakes.

Cassini's next Titan encounter will be Sept. 7 when it will be 620 miles away.

Cassini, funded by NASA and the European and Italian space agencies, was launched in 1997 and took seven years to reach Saturn to explore the ringed planet and its numerous moons. The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Cassini's accompanying probe, Huygens, developed and controlled by the ESA, touched down on Titan in 2005.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cassini; crevolist; evidence; finds; giant; huygens; hydrocarbon; lakes; methane; moon; saturn; titan; velikovsky
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On the Net:

Cassini mission:
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm

1 posted on 07/24/2006 6:56:42 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Bush's fault?


2 posted on 07/24/2006 6:58:03 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Could be interesting...


3 posted on 07/24/2006 6:58:10 PM PDT by RightWingNilla
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To: NormsRevenge

Lakes on Titan
July 24, 2006

The Cassini spacecraft, using its radar system, has discovered very strong evidence for hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. Dark patches, which resemble terrestrial lakes, seem to be sprinkled all over the high latitudes surrounding Titan's north pole.

Scientists have speculated that liquid methane or ethane might form lakes on Titan, particularly near the somewhat colder polar regions. In the images, a variety of dark patches, some with channels leading in or out of them, appear. The channels have a shape that strongly implies they were carved by liquid. Some of the dark patches and connecting channels are completely black, that is, they reflect back essentially no radar signal, and hence must be extremely smooth. In some cases rims can be seen around the dark patches, suggesting deposits that might form as liquid evaporates.

The abundant methane in Titan's atmosphere is stable as a liquid under Titan conditions, as is its abundant chemical product, ethane, but liquid water is not. For all these reasons, scientists interpret the dark areas as lakes of liquid methane or ethane, making Titan the only body in the solar system besides Earth known to possess lakes. Because such lakes may wax and wane over time, and winds may alter the roughness of their surfaces. Repeat coverage of these areas should test whether indeed these are bodies of liquid.

These two radar images were acquired by the Cassini radar instrument in synthetic aperture mode on July 21, 2006. The top image centered near 80 degrees north, 92 degrees west measures about 420 kilometers by 150 kilometers (260 miles by 93 miles). The lower image centered near 78 degrees north, 18 degrees west measures about 475 kilometers by 150 kilometers (295 miles by 93 miles). Smallest details in this image are about 500 meters (1,640 feet) across.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the United States and several European countries.

4 posted on 07/24/2006 6:59:30 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

I wonder what kinda screwy religion they have on Titan that’ll keep us from getting their oil.


5 posted on 07/24/2006 6:59:52 PM PDT by FMBass (“Now that I’m sober I watch a lot of news” – Garofalo: From “Treason” by Coulter)
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To: NormsRevenge

Does this mean there is no lightening on Titan, or no Oxygen to sustain a fire?


6 posted on 07/24/2006 7:00:05 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: NormsRevenge
Scientists believe methane gas breaks up in Titan's atmosphere and forms smog clouds that then rain methane down to the surface.

Please extinguish all smoking materials before disembarking onto the surface of Titan.

7 posted on 07/24/2006 7:01:08 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: NormsRevenge; KevinDavis


8 posted on 07/24/2006 7:01:31 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( http://www.answersingenesis.org)
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To: NormsRevenge

OK. Award Halliburton the prospecting rights.


9 posted on 07/24/2006 7:01:48 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: NormsRevenge

bttt


10 posted on 07/24/2006 7:03:31 PM PDT by clyde asbury (Andante con moto)
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To: RightWingNilla
Could be interesting...

Yeah. Gotta crank up the ping machine ...

11 posted on 07/24/2006 7:05:42 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: DannyTN
The LEL of methane is 5% while it's UEL is 15%.
Probably the Methane levels on Titan are way higher than 15%.
It's to "rich" to burn.
12 posted on 07/24/2006 7:08:36 PM PDT by ASA Vet (3.03)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
This is SETI related. Or Heinlein's Puppet Masters.
SciencePing
An elite subset of the Evolution list.
See the list's explanation at my freeper homepage.
Then FReepmail to be added or dropped.

13 posted on 07/24/2006 7:08:37 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: NormsRevenge

14 posted on 07/24/2006 7:08:37 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: NormsRevenge
Huh huh. Going to get just a little more difficult to continue the claim of "Fossil Fuels". Next thing you know they will discover the remains of the crater from the 'big one' that killed off the dinosaurs of Titan. ;)
15 posted on 07/24/2006 7:10:37 PM PDT by kAcknor (Don't flatter yourself.... It is a gun in my pocket.)
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To: NormsRevenge

So should the hydrocarbons be shipped raw or should a refinery be build on Titan?


16 posted on 07/24/2006 7:12:57 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Doctor Stochastic
So should the hydrocarbons be shipped raw or should a refinery be build on Titan?

I think a pipeline would be the most practical solution.

17 posted on 07/24/2006 7:16:41 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: kAcknor
[ the 'big one' that killed off the dinosaurs of Titan. ]

LoL... must've been some evil beasts.... Hydro carbons being a natural occurance.... wonder if some research is being done to unlock the process.. how bout coal..

18 posted on 07/24/2006 7:18:49 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole..)
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To: PatrickHenry

Karl Rove says the "pipeline is in the mail"!bwahahahahaha!


19 posted on 07/24/2006 7:19:17 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: NormsRevenge

One of these lakes can handle all of our energy needs for hundreds of years, IMO. There's gotta be a way to harness the energy.


20 posted on 07/24/2006 7:19:19 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (404 Page Error Found)
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To: Texas Eagle

Do you post this unoriginal stupid reply on every thread, or only on ones that you don't understand?


21 posted on 07/24/2006 7:19:21 PM PDT by Random Access
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To: NormsRevenge
...All these worlds are your except "Titan". Atempt no landings there ...


22 posted on 07/24/2006 7:21:38 PM PDT by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you! (MaDuce = M2HB .50 BMG))
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To: NormsRevenge

OK so we've been taught that hydrocarbons are the results of plant matter in the pre-historic swamps. hence the term fossil fuels. If thats the case then I wanna know how the plants got there?

Or is this proof of life on other planets?


23 posted on 07/24/2006 7:23:02 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: PatrickHenry

Nah. I'm designing a wormhole to transport these compounds as we speak. Natural gas prices are about to go down!


24 posted on 07/24/2006 7:23:29 PM PDT by ahayes ("If intelligent design evolved from creationism, then why are there still creationists?"--Quark2005)
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To: NormsRevenge

Fill Er UP!


25 posted on 07/24/2006 7:23:46 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: driftdiver

There's more than one way to make a hydrocarbon.


26 posted on 07/24/2006 7:24:16 PM PDT by ahayes ("If intelligent design evolved from creationism, then why are there still creationists?"--Quark2005)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

"One of these lakes can handle all of our energy needs for hundreds of years, IMO. There's gotta be a way to harness the energy."


A REALLLY long siphon tube. Course we could go there and have huge oil tanks running across the solar system. Then the environmentalist would be complaining about the effects of oil spills on the shores of the astroid belt.


27 posted on 07/24/2006 7:25:20 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: PatrickHenry

There's the "Big Inch" and the "Little Big Inch" (from WWII); now we can have the "Really Big Inch"!


28 posted on 07/24/2006 7:26:44 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Please, no bragging. This is a family-oriented thread.


29 posted on 07/24/2006 7:30:06 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: NormsRevenge

So specular reflections from them are hard to see because they're at high latitudes.


30 posted on 07/24/2006 7:30:37 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
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To: ahayes

"There's more than one way to make a hydrocarbon."

Thats kinda my point. If there's more than one way for hydrocarbons to be on Titan then there is probably more than one way on earth. Which would raise the possibility that "fossil" fuels aren't necessarily a non-renewable resource. And that said fuels may have been or may be created by other processes within the earth. That would mean the oil reserves could be a renewable resource.

Not my original idea, I read a report from a NASA scientist proposing this idea about 3 months ago based on this data.


31 posted on 07/24/2006 7:32:23 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: NormsRevenge
"But the source of methane inside the moon, which is releasing the gas into the atmosphere is still unknown."

Obviously, its from decaying dinosaurs and ferns. Thats the only place it can possible come from here on earth.

32 posted on 07/24/2006 7:37:53 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage
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To: driftdiver
There's gotta be a way to harness the energy

The trick would be to keep these “Gases liquid as your transport approaches the Sun.

I would imagine the pressures would escalate quite rapidly as sunlight on the transports surface intensifies.

33 posted on 07/24/2006 7:38:07 PM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Wow great article Norm! Thanks for bringing it here.

Hypothetically (and were it to be my choice) I would rather be on a manned exploration to Titan than Mars.

W.
34 posted on 07/24/2006 7:46:46 PM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
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To: RunningWolf

That would be one heckuva mission.. maybe a stopoff at Mars and then onto Titan.. I hope you're young, this is definitely quite a few years down the road at the rate
Nasa is moving.


35 posted on 07/24/2006 7:49:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: FairOpinion; annie laurie

Ping?


36 posted on 07/24/2006 7:53:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: norwaypinesavage
Obviously, its from decaying dinosaurs and ferns. Thats the only place it can possible come from here on earth

Heh heh heh ;) You forgot the plankton seas.

I think you know this (or you would not have said that) but they are finding oil far deeper than the original models predicted. I wont name the models here & now but I think you know what they were.., LOL.

W.
37 posted on 07/24/2006 7:53:36 PM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
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To: PatrickHenry

Well, we could ignite it and aim it at the sun for a great July 4th display.


38 posted on 07/24/2006 7:56:28 PM PDT by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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To: NormsRevenge

That looks like the surface of most of the roads in northeast Ohio.


39 posted on 07/24/2006 8:01:35 PM PDT by Carl LaFong ("I not only denies the allegations,I resents the allegator" - George Stevens)
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To: NormsRevenge
No, I would be age disqualified too.

For what its worth IMO, the manned missions like that will not happen until we develop the new propulsion technologies (ion or plasma?) which give big leaps over over the current (liquid & solid fuel) combustible fuel systems. My analogy here would be from radial engine to jet engine.

W.
40 posted on 07/24/2006 8:04:35 PM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
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To: NormsRevenge
Seems to me there was an intrepid original-thinking scientist by the name of Goldschmidt about 20 years ago who theorized that much of the earth's hydrocarbons are of non-organic origin, cosmic flotsam and jetsam left over from the early accretion of the solar system.

The self-appointed high priests and keepers of the pure faith of science laughed him to scorn, ridiculed him, and essentially excommunicated him for thinking such an unacceptable thing.

And so it continues today.

41 posted on 07/24/2006 8:15:19 PM PDT by JCEccles
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To: NormsRevenge

Oh no, not hydrocarbons!!!!! Global warming has even started to ruin the weather on Saturn & Mars!!!


42 posted on 07/24/2006 8:15:30 PM PDT by bpjam (Remember our fallen Marines from Beirut. Hezbollah deserves no peace.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I think it's quite obvious that this means the dinosaurs were successful in starting their own space program and colonized Titan eons ago.


43 posted on 07/24/2006 8:26:23 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Rabid ethnicist.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Titan is a heckuva neat place, and just keeps getting more interesting.

Thanks for the ping :)


44 posted on 07/24/2006 8:27:11 PM PDT by annie laurie (All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost)
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To: JCEccles

You may be thinking of (the late) Thomas Gold, one of the bright spots of the 20th century. :')


45 posted on 07/24/2006 8:29:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ASA Vet

It's to "rich" to burn.

That would be 'too' rich to burn.


46 posted on 07/24/2006 8:32:43 PM PDT by maxsand
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To: NormsRevenge

That would be one heckuva mission.. maybe a stopoff at Mars and then onto Titan

maybe a stopoff at Mars, then Joe's Ice House and then onto Titan. . .


47 posted on 07/24/2006 8:38:23 PM PDT by maxsand
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To: NormsRevenge

This news sent gasoline futures soaring, much to the puzzlement of industry analysts, who say that the discovery of vast quantities of extraterrestrial fuelstuffs should have driven prices downward. A spokesman for Exxon Mobil blamed the price spike on a refinery snafu in Botswana, despite the fact that Botswana produces less oil than Carlos Mencia's forehead.


48 posted on 07/24/2006 8:46:00 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: maxsand

That two.


49 posted on 07/24/2006 8:52:19 PM PDT by ASA Vet (3.03)
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To: driftdiver
OK so we've been taught that hydrocarbons are the results of plant matter in the pre-historic swamps

You've had some pretty bad teachers.

Petroleum, a particularly complex hydrocarbon and more complex than the ones on Titan, is formed from dead oceanic and large lake plankton. Has nothing to do with swamps at all.

50 posted on 07/24/2006 9:01:56 PM PDT by Strategerist
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