Methane clouds over northern seas could signal arrival of summer storms
Space news (the solar system: Saturn; Titan) – looking for evidence of clouds moving over surface of Saturn’s moon Titan –
Planetary space scientists have been looking for evidence of clouds moving over the northern hydrocarbon seas of Saturn’s moon Titan for awhile. Their planetary models of Titan predicted the movement of clouds over the northern seas, which should signal the arrival of summer storms. Near the end of July, they were provided with the proof they require in the form of images of methane clouds moving at 7 to 10 mph across the sky above the hydrocarbon seas of Titan’s northern sea Ligeia Mare. You can watch a movie showing the movement of clouds over the northern seas of Titan here.
“We’re eager to find out if the clouds’ appearance signals the beginning of summer weather patterns, or if it is an isolated occurrence,” said Elizabeth Turtle, a Cassini imaging team associate at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland. “Also, how are the clouds related to the seas? Did Cassini just happen to catch them over the seas, or do they form preferentially?”
Work continues for the team
Planetary scientists will continue to watch and study seasonal changes on Saturn’s moon Titan in order to learn more about the weather systems on other worlds and our own. This will be a job requiring patience, because a year on Titan is equivalent to 30 years on Earth, and each season lasts around seven years.
You can find additional information on NASA’s Cassini Solstice Space Mission here.
You can find more information on the Cassini Orbiter Space here.
Could a Cradle For a New Human Genesis be found in Our Solar System?
Earth is quickly becoming a less hospitable place for human life
Astronomy News – The search for another home to act as a cradle for a new human genesis has turned another page today. Two papers analyzing the chemical activity reported by observations made by NASA’s Cassini Orbiter of Saturn’s moon Titan report the data is consistent with the possible presence of theoretical methane-based life and how such life forms existing in an exotic and dynamic environment could affect their surroundings.
The first paper is available online and in the August edition of Icarus and was authored by Darrell Strobel of Johns Hopkins University. This paper describes a flow of hydrogen molecules through the atmosphere of Titan that disappear at the surface. “It’s as if you have a hose and you’re squirting hydrogen onto the ground, but it’s disappearing.”
The second paper is also available online and will appear in a future issue of The Journal of Geophysical Research. This paper reports a lack of acetylene and an abundance of organic compounds on the surface of Titan. This implies that Titan could be a place in the solar system where dynamic organic chemistry is currently taking place, and Titan could be a possible place in our solar system where the elements could exist for a home to act as a cradle for a new human genesis.
This news in no way means they have found life on Titan, but it does strengthen the case for the possibility of life taking more forms and existing in environments beyond those envisioned by humans. The scientists releasing these studies can certainly be applauded for keeping an open mind to the possibility that life exists beyond the bounds set by human imagination. We should keep in mind that chemical processes can also explain the data collected by the Cassini Orbiter and this is certainly a much simpler explanation for a flow of hydrogen molecules through the atmosphere of Titan that disappears at the surface. Indeed, hydrogen would seem to be the element of choice to consume in life processes on Titan. We should probably exhaust all other possibilities, before suggesting there the result of life processes, though, and save the existence of life for the last conclusion.
Astronomers are currently busy looking for a cradle for a new human genesis