String of Peaks Found on Titan Could be Cryovolcanoes

While icy cryovolcanoes on Titan have been theorized in the past, scientists didn’t have any hard evidence for them. But now, researchers from the Cassini mission have found proof that jumped out of their data in the form of 3-D mountain peaks. Using a new three-dimensional mapping technique, the team was able to create a realistic 3-D flyover of a region on Titan, above, where volcanic-like mountains appear to be lined up in a mountain range-type formation, complete with calderas and material flows. If cryovolcanoes do exist on Titan, they would potentially answer the question of why Titan has so much methane in its atmosphere.

“A combination of features makes us think we’ve found the best evidence so far for icy volcanoes on the moon Titan,” said Randy Kirk, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and a member of the Cassini team. “Sotra Facular is a classic volcano with a crater on it and lava flows coming out of it. (…) Read the rest of String of Peaks Found on Titan Could be Cryovolcanoes (820 words)

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(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | 2 comments | Add to Post

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