Scientists at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris have published findings in Nature Geoscience that has challenged assumptions about the moon Titan, one of Saturn’s sixty moons and a focus of scientists because of the presence of an atmosphere and potential for life. Benjamin Charnay and Sébastien Lebonnois created a computer model that simulates the atmosphere on Titan and the model yielded some interesting results showing that the moon has two different boundary layers and the lower produces methane clouds, dune movement on the surface and wind patterns.
Titan is twice the size of our moon, but it is nine times farther away from the sun. That makes it a bit chilly. Just around -180°C to be precise. The scientists found that the lower atmosphere does have some heat even at the far distance from the sun due to the atmospheric operations. At -180°C, however, you may still want to bundle up and remember: layers.
6 thoughts on “Titan Has Heat . . . And Two Atmospheres”
if there is intelligent life out there i hope it doesn’t resemble us.
Arthur C. Clark perked up, where ever he is.
Titan has been speculated about for years as possibly containing life. Given the atmosphere ad low temperatures if it exists it certainly won’t resemble us.
It has been a favorite of mine since reading one of Kurt Vonnegut’s least considered books, “The Sirens of Titan”, which I actually consider my favorite of all his works.
So when the put Pluto back in the line up….then we’ll talk….
I think there are a couple of better candidates. Io for one has active eruptions (http://www.planetaryexploration.net/jupiter/io/plume_eruptions.html).
Given what we have learned about life on the ocean vents using chemosynthesis instead of photo there is a very good change that similar life forms could dwell in its seas. Not that we’ll ever know.
That paper gives new meaning to “heat”.
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