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16 April 2020
Dust devils may roam hydrocarbon dunes on Saturn’s moon Titan
Smoggy, with a chance of dust devils: conditions at the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan may spawn convective whirlwinds By Liza Lester Meteorological conditions on Saturn’s large moon Titan, the strange, distant world that may be the most Earth-like in the solar system, appear conducive to the formation of dust devils, according to new research in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters. If true, these dry whirlwinds may be primary movers …
3 December 2019
New study finds the mix that makes Titan’s lakes spew nitrogen bubbles
In a new study published in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers simulated Titan’s lakes in a pressurized chamber. They found the right combination of methane, ethane and nitrogen crucial for bubbles to form. It is possible these bubble outbreaks are strong enough to shape river deltas in bodies of liquid on the moon.
11 April 2019
Extended winter polar vortices chill Saturn’s strangely familiar moon, Titan
Saturn’s hazy moon Titan has a long-lived Earth-like winter polar vortex supercharged by the moon’s peculiar chemistry. A new study finds Titan’s northern hemisphere polar vortex sticks around past the moon’s summer solstice, into what would be late June on Earth, lasting three-quarters of a Titan year, or about 22 Earth years.
22 May 2018
New study details geological process behind Titan’s dunes
Titan’s windswept dunes may sprawl millions of more kilometers than previously thought and were likely formed by geological processes similar to those on Earth, according to a new study. The new findings could help scientists look for life or its molecular precursors on Saturn’s largest moon.
17 December 2015
Scientists Map Titan’s Lakes, Revealing Clues to their Origins
As Saturn’s largest moon, Titan earns its name. It’s also the only known body other than Earth with seas, numerous surface lakes, and even rainy weather. Now scientists have mapped out Titan’s polar lakes for the first time, revealing information about the moon’s climate and surface evolution. They found that the lakes formed differently than had been previously thought—and differently than any lakes on Earth.
A collaboration of scientists led by Alexander Hayes of Cornell University presented their findings at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. They used NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to penetrate Titan’s smoggy atmosphere and probe the complex lake systems below.
14 December 2015
Waves on Titan
Stanford University’s Miles Traer is, once again, cartooning from the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
18 February 2013
Remote Sensing and Planetary Processes: An Interview with Dr. Alex Hayes
Dr. Alex Hayes is Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University. Hayes uses spacecraft-based remote sensing to study the properties of planetary surfaces, their interactions with the interior, and if present, atmosphere. Recently, he has focused on studying the coupling of surface, subsurface, and atmospheric processes on Titan and Mars.
14 December 2010
Ice Volcano? Huh?
I always thought volcanoes belched flaming, crackling chunks of rock, oozed hot goopy magma, and buried everything on their slopes. So when I noticed several presentations on AGU’s schedule about “ice volcanoes,”–like P22A: Titan: The methane cycle and potential for watery warm spots 1 I was intrigued.