Jun
03
2007

But... No Sirens?

Just a little astronomical item:
The European Space Agency (ESA) has begun to release the findings from the Huygens probe, which landed two and a half years ago on Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons.

Mighty Titan!: A great place to vacation. If you don't mind swimming in liquid methane. (Photo credit - Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Huygens recorded two and a half hours worth of data during its descent to the moon’s surface, and then sent transmissions for another seventy minutes after landing, before it moved out of range of the Cassini spacecraft (from which it was launched). Much attention has been placed on the readings from the descent, although Titan’s atmosphere turned out to be hazier than scientists had expected, do to the large quantity of dust particles, or “aerosols.”

The possible presence of extremely low frequency (ELF) radio waves might also suggest underground oceans on Titan, something already theorized about by scientists.

Even after two years of study, researchers say the few hours of data still holds massive potential. I fully expect the existence of Titanian mer-people to be announced within the year. But I’ve been wrong about this sort of thing before.

Check out the Science On a Sphere exhibit at the museum for some cool images of Titan.

Sciencedaily, Building Our View of Titan

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