Latest Erg Stories

Saturnian Moon Titan Has Tropical Lakes, Cassini Finds
2012-06-14 12:02:30

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered tropical lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, one of which is about half the size of Utah's Great Salt Lake. Previous models had assumed the long-standing bodies of liquid only existed at the poles on the moon, but the latest findings published in this week's issue of the journal Nature shows the methane lakes in the "tropics" of Titan. Caitlin Griffith, the paper's lead author, said that the liquid for these lakes likely...

Geologist Find Unusual Land Formation On Mars
2012-03-23 06:10:46

Geologists at the University of Washington found that a previously unseen landform on Mars could help provide a window into the geological history of the Red Planet. The "periodic bedrock ridges", or PBRs, look like sand dunes, but the scientists say that they are actually made from wind erosion of bedrock. "These bedforms look for all the world like sand dunes but they are carved into hard rock by wind," David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, said in a press...

Explaining Dune Field Patterns
2012-02-08 05:04:26

In a study of the harsh but beautiful White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania researchers have uncovered a unifying mechanism to explain dune patterns. The new work represents a contribution to basic science, but the findings may also hold implications for identifying when dune landscapes like those in Nebraska´s Sand Hills may reach a “tipping point” under climate change, going from valuable grazing land to barren desert. The study was...

Computer Model Explains Lakes, Storms On Titan
2012-01-05 09:30:55

Researchers studying Saturn´s moon Titan -- a natural satellite roughly half of Earth´s diameter, with a thick atmosphere of methane and a surface temperature of nearly -300 degrees Fahrenheit and the only other body in our solar system that has large bodies of liquid on its surface -- have created a computer model of its atmosphere and methane cycle that, for the first time, explains how lakes and storms form and exist on the distant moon. The new model, created by researchers...

2011-04-08 09:29:51

Have the surface and belly of Saturn's smog-shrouded moon, Titan, recently simmered like a chilly, bubbling cauldron with ice volcanoes, or has this distant moon gone cold? In a newly published analysis, a pair of NASA scientists analyzing data collected by the Cassini spacecraft suggest Titan may be much less geologically active than some scientists have thought. In the paper, published in the April 2011 edition of the journal Icarus, scientists conclude Titan's interior may be cool and...

2010-09-22 08:50:00

Titan, one of Saturn's moons, is the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere "” ten times denser than the atmosphere of Earth. Five years ago, the Cassini"“Huygens mission to Saturn, a collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, sent a probe through Titan's atmosphere, revealing that Titan is home to a landscape that includes hills, valleys and most notably lakes. A researcher involved with the mission, Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun of Tel Aviv University's Department...

2010-08-13 07:56:14

Saturn's moon Titan ripples with mountains, and scientists have been trying to figure out how they form. The best explanation, it turns out, is that Titan is shrinking as it cools, wrinkling up the moon's surface like a raisin. A new model developed by scientists working with radar data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows that differing densities in the outermost layers of Titan can account for the unusual surface behavior. Titan is slowly cooling because it is releasing heat from its...

2010-07-30 06:00:00

A new study finds that the mysterious equatorial dune patterns on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, are the result of gusty winds blowing in the opposite direction of prevailing weather. Titan's vast dunes of tiny organic, hydrocarbon particles cover more than one-fifth of its surface, but one band in particular has puzzled scientists for years. The band's shape suggested it was formed by winds flowing from west to east, despite climate models predicting that surface winds nearly always blow in...

2010-06-03 15:27:36

Two new papers based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan's surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized...

2009-08-27 12:26:20

U.S. scientists have developed an alternate theory for the origin of linear dunes on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, similar to ones on Earth. Louisiana State University Professor Patrick Hesp and U.S. Geological Survey scientist David Rubin said they examined the linear -- or longitudinal -- dunes stretching across the surface of China's Qaidam Basin, finding them composed of sand and some salt and silt. The scientists said the latter two elements make the dunes cohesive or...

Word of the Day
  • Bad luck; misfortune.
  • The smallest amount possible or the most worthless thing.
The word 'ambsace' comes from a Latin word meaning 'both'.