Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ice Volcano seen in Saturn Moon

Scientists said Tuesday they accept begin the best affirmation yet of ice volcanoes on Saturn's behemothic moon Titan. Unlike volcanoes on Earth, such a abundance on Titan may barf ice and hydrocarbons instead of aqueous lava."We assuredly accept some affidavit that Titan is an alive world," said geophysicist Randolph Kirk of the U.S. Geological Survey, who presented the findings.The most recent affirmation comes from the all-embracing Cassini spacecraft, which spied two peaks over 3,000 anxiety alpine and what looked like old agitable flows. Advisers said the landforms resembled Mount Etna in Italy or Laki abundance in Iceland.There's no assurance of agitable action on Titan, admitting scientists are befitting watch. 

It's not the aboriginal time that advisers accept doubtable Titan may authority icy volcanoes. A antecedent analysis in 2005 by the Cassini aircraft of a abeyant ice abundance angry out to be amiss aloft added study.Kirk, who acclimated 3-D mapping to abstraction Titan's acreage features, said the affirmation was stronger this time around. Results were presented at the American Geophysical Union affair in San Francisco.Planetary scientist Jeffrey Kargel of the University of Arizona, who was not complex in the discovery, said the abstracts was compelling. Kargel acclaimed that unless there's a mission to accompany aback samples, scientists may never apperceive what the flows are fabricated of. 

Titan is one of the few bodies in the solar arrangement with a blubbery atmosphere fabricated up of nitrogen and methane. The antecedent of methane charcoal a mystery. The actuality of volcanoes may advice explain how the moon got its blurred atmosphere.Launched in 1997, Cassini entered apogee about Saturn in 2004 to abstraction its rings and abounding moons including its largest, Titan. The mission is a activity of NASA the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

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