A Method of radar scanning, which is usually used to measure the density of the snow caps at the poles of the Earth, was applied for the analysis of the surface methane seas, the largest satellite of the planet Saturn, Titan. As a result of analysis, the scientists found that Titan's surface is "close to mirror". Perhaps for those who hoped one day to stem the tide of hydrocarbons on the surfboard, and this is bad news but great for astronomers, because it has the potential to simplify the choice for landing a research probe on a satellite. Don't have to worry about dangerous waves and wind that could damage the research unit.
Measuring work was carried out by a team of researchers from the United States by means of radar statistical reconnaissance, and included the analysis of data collected by the spacecraft "Cassini" over the seas Legei, Kraken and the Lyre located in the Northern hemisphere of the satellite.
Previously, the same method proved to be very useful and effective in measuring the density of the ice of Antarctica and the Arctic, and to select a potential landing site for the space missions of NASA InSight on the Martian surface, which allowed the specialists of the jet propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA to assume the method will be useful in the study of liquid surface of Titan.
The Interest in Titan is quite understandable, as this is the only place in the Solar system (besides Earth, of course), where on the surface of a planetary object is a liquid. Of course, most cryogens seas and lakes of the satellite consists of hydrocarbons like methane and ethane, not warm tropical water, but does in such a situation, particularly polymerase?
Even if we ignore the fact that the volume of hydrocarbons on the moon is several hundred times higher than fossil fuels on our planet, the diversity of the organic materials in these seas can speak about probability of presence of suitable for life chemistry. In addition, the satellite has a very dense hydrogen atmosphere and, quite possibly, even has a weather system in which there are hydrocarbon rains.
Between 2007 and 2015, the spacecraft Cassini has collected huge amount of data on radiostasionen Titanium, on which was built a very detailed map of the seas of the satellite, the surface of which, according to a recent analysis, almost as smooth as glass.
A New study offers a fresh perspective on the approximate condition of the surface texture, Reaffirming evidence that the waves in the seas of Titan is still there, but very tiny, which in turn allows to make some conclusions about the winds of the satellite.
"There is a huge desire to one day be planted there probes. And to be sure that this really happens, you need to make sure that the landing probes will be safe. In this case, you may not need a powerful wind," — says lead investigate Cyril Grima from the University of Texas Geophysics.
Makeup figured out that at the time of observation the spacecraft "Cassini" the height of the waves on the surface of the seas averaged about 6-10 millimeters in length in the 45-115 mm and angles from 1.1 to 2.4 degrees. For more "extreme" as the data show, the landing should be made on the Lyre of the sea, where the angle of the wave can reach as much as 5 degrees.
In General, as can be seen, the weather on Titan is hardly harsh.
"Our study shows that the waves on the seas of Titan is very weak. Probably because of the wind there is also virtually no" — says the make-up.
Waves on lakes and oceans of the Earth, mainly due to movement of air flows that come into contact with the water surface, transmit it to the particles kinetic energy. The motion of air masses is the result of convective air movement caused by warm sunlight heating one region of the Earth's surface is stronger than others. Titan, in turn, gets much less sunlight, has a dense cloud cover, so the relative lack of heat can explain such calm conditions on the surface. In addition, the molecules and particles of liquid hydrocarbons interact with each other otherwise.
The Titan cannot be called dead companion. It certainly is a lot of interesting things. But as it is a very cold place, then all the process it slowed somewhat. Therefore, even the presence of small ripples on the surface of its seas is very interesting news for scientists.
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