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Thread: Cassini's radar experiment turns up tantalizing clues

  1. #1 Cassini's radar experiment turns up tantalizing clues 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Titan's dynamic realm
    Cassini's radar experiment turns up tantalizing clues that Saturn's biggest moon is geologically active.
    Michael Carroll
    September 27, 2005
    With each orbital pass by Saturn's planet-size moon Titan, NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals more territory. Following the third radar-mapping pass, completed September 7, scientists are piecing together clues of a geologically active world. Beneath the thick orange fog, Cassini has charted windswept areas resembling desert sands, canyons cut by some kind of fluid, and mountains with vast flows of material.


    One area of Titan displays a flat, nearly featureless zone abutting a rougher highland. "We see something that looks like a lake shore," team member Rosaly Lopes told Astronomy. She cautions: "I don't know if there is liquid there now or not." This "shore" cuts into the higher ground in a series of bays and spreading channels. The boundary between the two terrains indicates the lowland may have been flooded in the past. The liquid, perhaps methane, may have retreated, or it may be invisible to Cassini's radar eye.


    http://www.astronomy.com/asy/default.aspx?c=a&id=3530


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I cannot think of a single interplanetary probe that has not turned up unexpected (either in the general or the particular) observations about the planets, their satellites and the debris of solar system formation we call asteroids and comets. It is one of the wonders of the space age.

    It is also one reason I am a strong advocate of manned exploration of the solar system. Humans have the flexibility to adapt to unexpected conditions; they have the intellect to interpret strange data; they have the ingenuity to modify equipment and plans to investigate the unanticipated; and they have the technology to preserve and protect members of their species in that hostile environment. It remains to be seen if they have the imagination and the courage to seize the opportunity with which they have been presented.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    It is also one reason I am a strong advocate of manned exploration of the solar system.
    I'd rather have 100 robotic spacecraft explore 100 things around the solar system and beyond than to spend that money on just one human mission to Mars. The money could get more data and retrieve more understanding of the cosmos through robotics than humans will ever be able to do DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, in other words the costs involved sending humans anywhere is going to be 100 times that of a robot and if we lose the robot we send another, hopefully learning why we lost the first one. Human safety is paramount and robotics are the easiest way to insure that. :-D
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    I agree with cosmictraveller, but not only for simple economic reason; I think the need to interpret the second hand observations will actually advance scientific theories and technologies even more than the first hand observations might.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    It's not an either-or choice. It's also definitely off-topic. A new thread at some point perhaps: I don't feel like mustering all the elegant arguments and eloquent rhetoric to make my case right now.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    It's not an either-or choice. It's also definitely off-topic. A new thread at some point perhaps: I don't feel like mustering all the elegant arguments and eloquent rhetoric to make my case right now.
    I'd think you make a good point and are "on topic" as we are looking at robotic spacecraft here on this thread. Your ideas of humans isn't that far off topic because I do think that humans should be in space and traveling to distant places, just not now but perhaps in 30 to 50 years when the speed , safety and costs of human travel are much better than they are today The robotic craft will lead the way to be humans "pathfinder". To look at things for humans to see more clearer whever they can go out amonst the stars. To have places to go for humans by the robots first detecting the areas most favorable to visit would be an asset to all humanity.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
    I do think that humans should be in space and traveling to distant places, just not now but perhaps in 30 to 50 years
    I'll be dead in twenty. My selfish DNA demands manned travel now.
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