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d9b70676f08aa3c1202ec21fb8bb445c1
2007-03-13 16:50:00

Instruments on NASA's Cassini spacecraft have found evidence for seas, likely filled with liquid methane or ethane, in the high northern latitudes of Saturn's moon Titan. One such feature is larger than any of the Great Lakes of North America and is about the same size as several seas on Earth. Cassini's radar instrument imaged several very dark features near Titan's north pole. Much larger than similar features seen before on Titan, the largest dark feature measures at least 100,000 square...

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2007-01-12 16:25:00

Two years ago, planetary scientists across the world watched as Europe and the US did something amazing. The Huygens descent module drifted down through the hazy atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, beaming its data back to Earth via the Cassini mothership. Today, Huygens's data are still continuing to surprise researchers. Titan holds a unique place in the Solar System. It is the only moon covered in a significant atmosphere. The atmosphere has long intrigued scientists as it may be similar to...

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2007-01-03 18:55:00

Scientists report definitive evidence of the presence of lakes filled with liquid methane on Saturn's moon Titan in this week's journal Nature cover story. Radar imaging data from a July 22, 2006, flyby provide convincing evidence for large bodies of liquid on Titan today. A new false-color radar view gives a taste of what Cassini saw. Some highlights of the article follow below. Lake Characteristics: -Radar-dark patches are interpreted as lakes based on their very low radar reflectivity...

77c998e0d35f39bc611318453b2280e81
2006-11-08 10:15:00

Hazy skies on early Earth could have provided a substantial source of organic material useful for emerging life on the planet, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. In a study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences the week of Nov. 6, the research team measured organic particles produced from the kind of atmospheric gases thought to be present on early Earth. The laboratory experiment modeled conditions measured by the Huygens...

c54f9444aa60b9587bde598c7f4e5fa71
2006-09-26 08:25:00

During an expedition off the South American coast, an international team of ocean scientists discovered that the gases ethane and propane are widespread, and are being produced by microorganisms in deeply buried sediments. Prof. Kai-Uwe Hinrichs (Research Center Ocean Margins, University of Bremen), co-author Prof. John Hayes (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), and colleagues report new findings on the production of energy-laden gases in a paper in this week's online edition of the...

de3a8042f282b04dbff668a4a6311bdb1
2006-09-14 16:00:00

Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) has detected what appears to be a massive ethane cloud surrounding Titan's north pole. The cloud might be snowing ethane snowflakes into methane lakes below. The cloud may be the clue needed in solving a puzzle that has confounded scientists who so far have seen little evidence of a veil of ethane clouds and surface liquids originally thought extensive enough to cover the entire surface of Titan with a 300-meter-deep ocean. Before the...

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2006-09-02 09:35:00

Scientists knew Saturn's giant moon Titan would be interesting, perhaps containing organic compounds that are the building blocks of life. But the discovery of methane lakes and a "methanosphere" raises a question: is a frozen moon orbiting a giant gas planet Earth's closest analog in the solar system? NASA - Saturn's moon Titan seems to have little in common with Earth. At just 93 Kelvin, the giant moon is beyond ice cold, and its atmosphere is dominated by methane rather than nitrogen and...

8aeec871d8bf93e1178277b5d022639c1
2006-07-28 14:00:23

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found lakes on Saturn's moon Titan. The lakes are most likely the source of hydrocarbon smog in the frigid moon's atmosphere. Finding the source of the complex soup of hydrocarbons in Titan's atmosphere has been a major goal for the Cassini mission and is a significant accomplishment. Numerous well-defined dark patches resembling lakes are present in radar images of Titan's high latitudes taken during a July 22 flyby. At Titan's frigid temperatures, about minus...

d462e3fad3d4f2d65cf10887fe4084b2
2006-03-01 15:30:00

Arizona -- An international team of planetary scientists may have solved the mystery of why the atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan, is rich in methane. Methane, which on Titan plays a role similar to water on Earth, is locked in a methane-rich water ice that forms a crust above an ocean of liquid water mixed with ammonia, the scientists say. Major episodes of outgassing pumped methane into Titan's mostly nitrogen atmosphere three times during the moon's evolutionary history, they...

ffcdc5c68ad8861e678c972e5c14216c1
2006-01-23 09:42:47

ESA -- Using recent Cassini, Huygens and Earth-based observations, scientists have been able to create a computer model which explains the formation of several types of ethane and methane clouds on Titan. Clouds have been observed recently on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, through the thick haze, using near-infrared spectroscopy and images of the south pole and temperate regions near 40° South. Recent observations from Earth-based telescopes and the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft are...


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4_8f22c004497825023679cbda1abc7a952
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Titan -- Titan is the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is larger than either of the planets Mercury or Pluto and is the second-largest moon in the solar system after Ganymede (it was originally thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede, but recent observations have shown that its thick atmosphere caused overestimation of its diameter). Titan was discovered on March 25, 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens, making it one of the first non-terrestrial moons to be...

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Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.