technology-news

Change in Saturn's moon Titan's surface brightness points towards cryovolcanism

Washington, Sept. 15 : Researchers have said that changes in surface brightness on Saturn's moon, Titan, observed over four years, has provided more evidence that cryovolcanism is active there.


In cryovolcanism, volatiles such as water, ammonia or methane, are spewed out instead of molten rock.

Titan has an atmosphere rich in organic carbon-based compounds and has clouds and rains of liquid methane that mimic Earth's water cycle. Its landscape is remarkably Earth-like with dunes and lakes, erosion due to weathering and tectonic-like features.

Astronomers believe that beneath its icy surface there is an ocean of liquid water, possibly mixed with ammonia. The low number of impact craters seen on Titan suggests that the surface is relatively young and is therefore dynamic and active.

Anezina Solomonidou, of the Observatoire de Paris and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, said that these features, plus a need for a methane reservoir and volcanic activity to replenish the methane that they detected in the atmosphere, is compatible with the theory of active cryovolcanism on Titan.

Solomonidou and colleagues investigated the potentially cryogenic regions of Tui Regio, Hotei Regio and Sotra Patera using Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS).

She said that they were able to penetrate the atmosphere with VIMS and view any changes in these surface features. Interestingly, the albedo (brightness) of two of the areas has changed with time.

She added that Tui Regio got darker from 2005 to 2009 and Sotra Patera - the most favorable cryovolcanic candidate on Titan - got brighter between 2005 and 2006.

--ANI (Posted on 15-09-2013)

technology-news headlines

Speed-reading apps may impair reading ability: Study

Read tough data sheets on tablets with this device

Cow manure has new antibiotic resistance genes: Study

Soon, futuristic gadget that uses voice to control all aspects of home

Missing Xenon gas may be resting in earth's belly: Study

Wireless speaker with light sensors, microphone

An 'upside-down planet' discovered

Google search, navigation preferred apps among drivers

Biofuels from corn less beneficial than reported: Study

Smart cup that delivers coffee, news too!

In a first, stem cells cloned from human skin

Bulletproof vests from stem cells?

Quick Links: Goa | Munnar | Pondicherry | Free Yearly Horoscope '2014

Comments

Your e-mail:


Your Full Name:


Type verification image:
verification image, type it in the box

Message:

Back to Top