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Dust storms on Titan spotted by Cassini for the first time (esa.int)
126 points by WalterSobchak on Sept 25, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments



Annoying that the image for the article is an 'artist's conception', and further that it's not immediately labelled as such and you need to click through to determine that.


Interestingly, Titan is one of the few places in our solar system where we’ve managed to successfully place a lander (although the descent was more interesting scientifically). The entry was captured as a series of photos, but more recently there’s been some composite footage produced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L471ct7YDo


100% agree. Regular people don't know how real photos from space look like, and will likely mistakenly assume this is. Yes, it's not obvious. Remember this picture?

https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/7639/cassini-grand-fin...

It circled the Internet recently. Without clear information that's just an artist conception. I had to correct tech people who mistakenly thought it was a photo.


That link just loads a blank page for me on iOS. Weird.


It's fun to imagine "dust" here can be ice crystals. A lot of the surface, IIRC, is frozen water.

For Titanites, we are weird beings mostly made of molten rocks.


From their perspective, we also breathe a flammable gas. With all that methane, oxygen would be the fuel on Titan.

Very strange being indeed.


This is probably a dumb question, but if it is covered in methane and there are clouds, is there lightning? If there is, wouldn't the methane ignite?


It would only ignite in the presence of oxygen, and at least according to the information I've looked at it doesn't seem that Titan's atmosphere contains large amounts.


If it does, with all those hydrocarbons around, it won't be there for long.


If there was oxygen probably some asteroid impact would already have ignited the methane in the past.




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