Imaginea Astronomica a Zilei

Descopera cosmosul! In fiecare zi este prezentata o noua imagine sau fotografie a universului nostru fascinant, insotita de o explicatie scurta din partea unui astronom profesionist.

2005 June 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Titan's Cryovolcano
Credit: VIMS Team, U. Arizona, ESA, NASA

Explicatie: (Edit) Investigators suspect the domed feature detailed above is an ice volcano, or cryovolcano, seen in infrared light through the hazy atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan. Since Titan's surface temperature is around minus 180 degrees Celsius, lava welling up to form the volcanic mound would be icy indeed - possibly a slurry of methane, ammonia, and water ice combined with other ices and hydrocarbons. The circular feature is roughly thirty kilometers in diameter. If its volcanic nature is confirmed, the discovery of cryovolcanism on Titan could explain the origin of methane in Titan's atmosphere. Before the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, a popular explanation for replenishing Titan's concentration of atmospheric methane was the presence of an extensive, methane-rich, hydrocarbon sea. But Cassini's instruments and the Huygens surface probe have failed to find such a global ocean.

Imaginea de maine: the terminator


< | Arhiva | Index | Cauta | Calendar | Glosar | Educatie | Despre APOD | >

Autori & editori: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
Un serviciu al: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.