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The Dunes of Titan

  1. May 7, 2006 #1
    Dune-boarding anyone?!

    Saturn's moon Titan has dunes [Friday, May 5, 2006 Posted: 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)]

  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

  4. May 7, 2006 #3
    Whats really neat is that its water sand not silicate sand. Thats the really cool part.
  5. May 7, 2006 #4
  6. May 7, 2006 #5
    I could ask about a billion questions though.

    Does methane occur without there first being organic material? Or, was Titan covered in plant life or sea life at one time, hence, today, we find methane there?

    Looking at all the methane on Titan from a fuel challenged planet is like being a kid on the outside of a candy shop window. Except the glass in the window is several million miles thick.
    Last edited: May 7, 2006
  7. May 9, 2006 #6

    Its far too cold on titan for us to actually be able to do anything with the resources there in the forseeable future. It'll be far too late.

    Methane is just one carbon and four hydrogens, there is no reason it has to be formed biologically. The same is true of ethane, and so on. Just because we see it formed biologically here doesn't mean anything for its formation elsewhere.
  8. May 9, 2006 #7
    Yes, thank you! I looked that up. Some call this a primary atmosphere. Somewhat on the way to becoming a secondary atmosphere suchas ours. But, if what you say is true and its too cold there for much other than "ice sand"... or to use as a resource, then, at least its a pretty moon.:wink:
  9. May 9, 2006 #8
    The images of view of the landing was simply awesome. I actually downloaded the 156 megabyte version while I was reading the news sites. The resolution was simply phenomenal. You really have to hand it to the folks that design, build, launch and maintain these programs. The images they return are really cool. :)
  10. May 13, 2006 #9

    Its not too cold to use, its too cold for us to be able to go down there and get it. At least for the forseeable future.
  11. May 14, 2006 #10
    Yeah, I guess we'll just have to grow enough corn etc... and produce our own methane.

    There's a plan afoot to heat communities with their own sewage pipes. The heat generated in those things is enough to heat the community using the pipes. Now, we could also put a dome over each of the cattle stockyards and capture enough methane to get to Titan... holding our noses.:yuck:
  12. May 15, 2006 #11
    I don't want to get into this in this forum but corn-based ethanol is a bad idea, probably worse than gasoline, unless we suddenly shut down all coal power plants in favor of other sources.
  13. May 15, 2006 #12
    I'd like to know what percentage of the images sent home from Huygens were used in the video of the descent and what percent was animation.

    You can sort of see the differences in texture between the actual images and the animation of the landscape as Huygens approaches but there are re-buffering moments and what appear to be sand storms or just camera movement so, it gets unclear what is totally off of Huygens and what is totally out of a NASA contract animator. I prefer the raw images in stills to any messin' around even if they are thermal or radar generated.
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
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