Results tagged “Titan”

Early Titan Was a Cold, Hostile Place

Titan is a mysterious orange-socked moon of Saturn that is exciting to astrobiologists because it has some of the same kinds of chemicals that were precursors to life on Earth. Its atmosphere is 95 percent nitrogen, but it also has a tad bit of methane, predominantly close to the surface.

Scientists at UCL have observed how a widespread polar wind is driving gas from the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.

Simulations of Titan's Paleoclimate

We investigate the effects of varying Saturn's orbit on the atmospheric circulation and surface methane distribution of Titan.

New maps of Saturn's moon Titan reveal large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles.

We report the first spectroscopic detection of ethyl cyanide (C2H5CN) in Titan's atmosphere, obtained using spectrally and spatially resolved observations of multiple emission lines with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA).

The international Cassini mission has revealed that a giant, toxic cloud is hovering over the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, after the atmosphere has cooled in a dramatic fashion.

We present spectrally and spatially-resolved maps of HNC and HC3N emission from Titan's atmosphere, obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) on 2013 November 17.

Several clues indicate that Titan's atmosphere has been depleted in methane during some period of its history, possibly as recently as 0.5-1 billion years ago. It could also happen in the future.

NASA scientists have created a new recipe that captures key flavors of the brownish-orange atmosphere around Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

High altitude clouds and hazes are integral to understanding exoplanet observations, and are proposed to explain observed featureless transit spectra.

Hundreds of lakes and a few seas of liquid hydrocarbons have been observed by the Cassini spacecraft to cover the polar regions of Titan.

We present an analysis of the VIMS solar occultations dataset, which extracts vertically resolved information on the characteristics of Titan's atmosphere between 100-700 km with a characteristic vertical resolution of 10 km.

We constructed a 6-degrees of freedom rotational model of Titan as a 3-layer body consisting of a rigid core, a fluid global ocean, and a floating ice shell.

Life on Earth or Mars could have been brought to the moons of Jupiter or Saturn on rocks blasted off those planets, researchers say.

The Voyager 1 flyby of Titan in 1980 gave a first glimpse of the chemical complexity of Titan's atmosphere, detecting many new molecules with the infrared spectrometer (IRIS). These included propane (C3H8) and propyne (CH3C2H), while the intermediate-sized C3Hx hydrocarbon (C3H6) was curiously absent. Using spectra from the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) on Cassini, we show the first positive detection of propene (C3H6) in Titan's stratosphere (5-sigma significance), finally filling the three-decade gap in the chemical sequence.

Glimpses of the events that nurtured life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago are coming from an unlikely venue almost 1 billion miles away, according to the leader of an effort to understand Titan, one of the most unusual moons in the solar system.

Antifreeze normally helps prevent freezing, but scientists find a common antifreeze compound that might exist on Saturn's largest moon Titan can get trapped within ice-like cages.

Saturn's moon Titan might be in for some wild weather as it heads into its spring and summer, if two new models are correct. Scientists think that as the seasons change in Titan's northern hemisphere, waves could ripple across the moon's hydrocarbon seas, and hurricanes could begin to swirl over these areas, too.

Titan's Methane: Soon To Be Gone?

By tracking a part of the surface of Saturn's moon Titan over several years, NASA's Cassini mission has found a remarkable longevity to the hydrocarbon lakes on the moon's surface. A team led by Christophe Sotin of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., fed these results into a model that suggests the supply of the hydrocarbon methane at Titan could be coming to an end soon (on geological timescales). The study of the lakes also led scientists to spot a few new ones in images from Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer data in June 2010.

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