Skip to comments.NASA reveals first-ever photo of liquid on another world
Posted on 12/18/2009 3:11:00 PM PST by dragnet2
A photo from Cassini shows sunlight reflecting from a giant lake of methane on the northern half of Saturn's moon Titan.
(CNN) -- NASA scientists revealed Friday a first-of-its-kind image from space showing reflecting sunlight from a lake on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
It's the first visual "smoking gun" evidence of liquid on the northern hemisphere of the moon, scientists said, and the first-ever photo from another world showing a "specular reflection" -- which is reflection from a liquid surface.
Jaumann said he was surprised when he first saw the photos transmitting from Cassini, orbiting Saturn about a billion miles from Earth.
"It was great because if you look at photos of planets, you mostly see nothing is happening. But in two hours we saw a glint of light getting brighter."
Titan's similarities to Earth have attracted NASA's attention for decades. It's the only body besides our own in the solar system that is believed to have liquid on its surface. Like Earth, Titan has an atmosphere which is mostly nitrogen.
Experts believe the presence of liquid on a planet or moon improves the chances that some kind of life could develop there.
The project is based out of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
almost the color of beer
That’s what happens when you ignore greenhouse gasses like methane. It creates lakes. People die. Oceans . . . well, you know the story.
Prove it’s not a bottle top reflection....
Maybe it’s Bourbon!
Where’s the single malt ocean?
If you cock your head to the left, squint your eyes and hold your breath for 2 minutes, you should be able to see the image of Obama near the top of the photo.
Actually, I think that is a very amazing photo.
I know an old fashioned Billiard Ball when I see one...
Man.... if someone lit a match up there it would blow the place up!
“Wheres the single malt ocean?:
The Big Rock Candy Mountain?
Couldn’t they focus the camera just a little better?
Actually, you could detonate a nuclear weapon, nothing would happen. No oxygen.
Almost appears as a ring with a gem stone at the top.
Yep - A big wet nasty cow fart. POW
in the big rock candy mountains, you never change your socks,
and the little streams of alcohol, come a tricklin' down the rocks.
The brakemen have to tip their hats, and the railroad bulls are blind,
There's a lake of stew and a whisky too,
you can paddle all around 'em in a big canoe,
in the big rock candy mountains.
The glint appears to be coming from the southern edge of a lake called Kraken Mare — a massive body of methane that covers about 150,000 square miles (400,000 square kilometers). That’s larger than the Caspian Sea, which is the largest lake on Earth.
I know! There must be too many cows grazing the Titan pastures for meat-eating infidels! Quick, alert those in Copenhagen!
Just don’t send Space Cruiser E-89 to investigate. It doesn’t end well for Captain Paul Ross, Lt. Ted Mason and Lt. Mike Carter...
Oh yeah.... (duh) lol
How do you know? You been there? :^)
Methane boils at -148 degrees F, so it’s too cold for everyone except “Frosty”.
That's a good point. If the spectroscopy is flawed, that could just as easily be a giant lake of moose piss, rather than a sea of methane.
I bet to differ... you'd get a rather massive explosion caused by the nuclear weapon, and if you detonate it near enough to the methane, you'll get a heck of a lot of methane converted to its gas state and at very high temperatures.
I wouldn't recommend standing too close.
Of course, the methane wouldn't do much more than vaporize... probably. ;-)
“Man.... if someone lit a match up there it would blow the place up!”
Not without oxygen!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
“Captain Paul Ross, Lt. Ted Mason and Lt. Mike Carter...”
Who? Never heard of them...
Actually, as I had to wiki my memory to get the names (I did recall Jack Klugman and Ross Martin as playing 2 of the parts in Death Ship), I see where Richard Matheson had placed the story in 1997, so those 3 doomed astronauts have been dead for some time after investigating that shiny object they discovered. Dee-dee- dee-dee dee....
“Here’s another angle...”
As God is my witness.. that was funny! If fact, you’ve pissed off the Creator tonight... He’s now ROTFLHAO right about now, and not attending to making it snow on the Communists! Really great sense of humor you have there skimbell!
Cool. Now maybe there’s a beach I can go to that’s not so crowded.
There you go, trying to trick me. If it was a giant lake of moose piss, then oxygen would have to be present, to accommodate all those moose.
One other question: if there was no oxygen on that asteroid, then how was Harry Stamper able to detonate that nuke?
In a related article, Al Gore is now seeking to develop a scientific mission to Titan, so it can be blasted from our solar system.
Gore was quoted as saying, “We don’t need no stinking methane!”
The scientific mission might be wise though. If we send Al Gore to check it out, there could be positive outcomes. I say we give him a box of matches and send him on his way...
At least for the billions we give NASA, we get some pixels out of the Fu#$king deal! This is more than I can say for government!
Man, if I knew how Photoshop worked, I'd create a terrific picture of a moose in a space-suit. You'll just have to imagine it.
"One other question: if there was no oxygen on that asteroid, then how was Harry Stamper able to detonate that nuke?"
That is a valid point. With my extremely limited understanding of thermonuclear warheads, I believe there is still a conventional explosion that propels the plutonium matter together with such force and velocity, it triggers a chain-reaction. No explosion, no chain-reaction. Perhaps it's a pneumatic thermonuclear warhead?
Indeed, it does.
I just amazes me that we can sit in the comfort our homes and look at this stuff. I will never get used to it.
let’s send Barack and Michele there for another honeymoon.
After all, it is a “moon”.
Nope, Too cold!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” —Psalm 19:1
How did our dinosaurs get over there to make petrochemicals?
Can you say...Flying Dutchman...?
a giant lake of methane on the northern half of Saturn's moon TitanThanks dragnet2.
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I'll tell ya, Pluto must be pissed - first it gets demoted from a full planet to just another "Kuiper Belt Object" or "plutino", and now some NASA folks are referring to Titan as a planet... It just adds insult to injury... Pluto just can't get no respect...
Liquid methane huh?....been there.....wasn’t pretty!...kind of embarassing actually..