Home > 80beats > Weather Report From Titan: It’s Raining Methane (Hallelujah)

Weather Report From Titan: It’s Raining Methane (Hallelujah)

March 18th, 2011 03:28 admin Leave a comment Go to comments
  • What’s the News: Images sent back from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft depict storm clouds and methane rain puddles, the first solid evidence of modern rainfall on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. “We’re pretty confident that it has just rained on Titan,†lead author Elizabeth Turtle, from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, told Wired. Astronomers have previous evidence of sulfuric-acid precipitation on Venus, but it doesn’t count as rainfall because it never reaches the surface.
  • What’s the Olds:
  • Not So Fast: Don’t read too much into these showers: Methane rain doesn’t mean life. The search continues.

Reference: “Rapid and Extensive Surface Changes Near Titan’s Equator: Evidence of April Showers.†E.P. Turtle, J.E. Perry, A.G. Hayes, R.D. Lorenz, J.W. Barnes, A.S. McEwen, R.A. West, A.D. Del Genio, J.M. Barbara, J.I. Lunine, E.L. Schaller, T.L. Ray, R.M.C. Lopes, E.R. Stofan. Science, Vol 331, March 18, 2011. DOI: 10.1126/science.1201063

Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Source: Weather Report From Titan: It’s Raining Methane (Hallelujah)

Related Articles:

  1. Waves Spotted On Titan
  2. An Ocean of Water May Lie Deep Beneath Titan’s Lakes of Methane
  3. Weird Chemistry on Titan *Could* Be a Sign of Methane-Based Life
  4. Hints of Life Found On Saturn’s Moon Titan
  5. Lake On Titan Winks From a Billion Kilometers Away
blog comments powered by Disqus