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Volcanos on Titan and Oceans on Pluto
December 17, 2010 1:51 PM   Subscribe

The Cassini team announced a possible cyrovolcano on Titan. A key difference between this find and cyrovulcanism on Enceladus is the probable existence of a thousand-meter peak and lobe-shaped flows similar to terrestrial vulcanism. Their video release explains the evidence with 3-d models of the features. More speculative, Guillaume Robuchon speculates that Pluto might have liquid water under an icy surface, assuming it has enough of a rocky core to support heat production through radioactive decay.
posted by KirkJobSluder (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cyro volcano? Cyro volcano?
posted by RogerB at 2:01 PM on December 17, 2010


Much as I'm a proponent and fan of the manned space program, I think we should be lobbing unmanned craft out left and right to all the other planets and moons in our system. There's a lot of fascinating stuff out there.
posted by nomadicink at 2:02 PM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the OP means "Cryovolcano".
posted by aught at 2:02 PM on December 17, 2010


Cryptovolcano. Where you hide your secret satellite eating rocket ship lair.
posted by Babblesort at 2:05 PM on December 17, 2010


Duh, my goof on the spelling.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:08 PM on December 17, 2010


Duh ... this is where the frost giants live ... Look, if you're not going to keep up ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:09 PM on December 17, 2010


I think he means Coulrovolcano -- it's full of balloon animals, rainbow wigs, and bicycle horns
posted by AzraelBrown at 2:10 PM on December 17, 2010


Saturn has sixty two moons. We have a single probe covering that. Come on Obama, stimulate the economy and science!
posted by nomadicink at 2:15 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess I still don't understand Star Trek.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:20 PM on December 17, 2010


Personally, I think it's amazing that we've gone from snapping pretty pictures of outer-solar-system bodies as we fly past at improbable speeds, to decade-long missions in orbit with landers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:21 PM on December 17, 2010


Cyranovolcanoes, shaped like noses, are plagued with self-image issues.
posted by adipocere at 2:32 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next manned one way space flight to the planets near us, imagine 20-30 young age settlers (like the Mayflower) heading to a different planet, soon, there will be arguments and hate among the settlers. Just don't have a supply of guns or knives loaded aboard the shuttle. By the time they reach another planet to settle, the number might by a lot less or just two.
I'm too old to go, otherwise sign me up and goodbye to this overcrowded planet and in tears goodbye to Metafilter.
posted by tustinrick at 2:35 PM on December 17, 2010


showboatin' Titans always gotta be first in everything. Sheesh.
posted by The Whelk at 2:37 PM on December 17, 2010


cyrovulcanism on Enceladus

I liked their music before they sold out and went mainstream.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:39 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cassini has been one of the most successful missions that NASA has managed (along with ESA). Personally, I think that we should start taking the incremental approach and like the poster earlier said, start lobbing probes like this left and right into the solar system.

Using the fundamentals developed for this mission along with the knowledge and improvements forged over the last ten years, I see Cassini-based probes being a huge scientific benefit in lieu of redeveloping the wheel each time we do these large missions.

What makes probes like Voyagers I and II and Cassini impressive is their robustness and reliability. I think it also proves we know how to do this kind of discovery work - I just wish we could do it more often and more quickly.
posted by tgrundke at 3:27 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can we drop another probe on Titan, please? I got such a rush listening to the wind as the last one descended through the Titanian atmosphere. Sounds from another world! Fuck me, that is awesome -- which is a word I hate and don't use but in this case it fits. Awesome, awesome, awesome!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 4:38 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


did you know that Titan is the sixth ellipsoidal moon from Saturn. Frequently described as a planet-like moon, Titan has a diameter roughly 50% larger than Earth's moon
Although Titan is classified as a moon, it is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto. ... Thus, despite the fact that Titan has a thicker atmosphere than Earth.
posted by tustinrick at 6:36 PM on December 17, 2010


Don't forget all those recently-discovered Kuiper belt objects - noone has lobbed a probe at them yet.
posted by newdaddy at 7:32 PM on December 17, 2010


great post.
[spelljamming jarl refuels]
posted by clavdivs at 8:15 PM on December 17, 2010


Maybe instead of thinking, "gosh that Cassini probe cost US Taxpayers a billion dollars," we should think, "gosh that Cassini probe added a billion dollars worth of business to the US economy, we ought to build a lot more stuff like that."

Y'know, instead of all those super expensive jets and ships and weapons with which we usually stimulate the economy.
posted by zoogleplex at 9:22 AM on December 20, 2010


Don't forget all those recently-discovered Kuiper belt objects - noone has lobbed a probe at them yet.

That's not quite accurate. It could depend on your definition of "Kuiper belt object, though, I suppose.

And whether or not you think Pluto is actually a planet or not.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2010


I note that Saturn has a moon named Farbauti. I say we mount a campaign to rename that one Slartibartfast.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:55 AM on December 21, 2010


I note that Saturn has a moon named Farbauti. I say we mount a campaign to rename that one Slartibartfast.

Do that and you risk getting struck by lightning.
posted by aught at 8:41 AM on January 6, 2011


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