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Ice on Titan

30 April 2019

A couple of links sent in by Jovan – go to www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190429111826.htm … and www.newscientist.com/article/2200961-titan-has-a-belt-of-ice-6300-kilome… … Titan is coming up with all kinds of surprises – courtesy of the Cassini mission. In a new research paper in Nature Astronomy we have a massive 'circle' of ice rich bedrock that spans almost halfway around the moon of Saturn. It stretches for a length of almost 4000 miles. The icy corridor is peculiar as it does not correlate with any surface features. Data from Cassini was used, and an infrared spectrometer (in order to peer through Titan's opaque haze). Titan's surface is thought to be largely covered in organic sediment which rains down from the breakup of methane molecules in its atmosphere, creating a wet and gassy environment. They appear to be telling us it is water ice. Excellent discovery.

Robert comments, 'as expected it comes down to unseen cryovolcanism – without the plate tectonics. The feature, he points out, has similarites to features on Venus which Wal Thornhill attributed to electrical discharge phenomena. (see also www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=5663

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