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Unknown object on Titan, moon of Saturn appeared and disappeared suddenly - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 08:00

Unexpected puzzle for astronomers gave the Cassini spacecraft studying Saturn and its Moons. Having examined the photographs the surface of Titan, the largest satellite sixth planet of the solar system, scientists have noticed in one of the "lakes" celestial body strange object that first appeared and then disappeared. According to researchers, not understood "white clot" may be an iceberg or an accumulation of gas bubbles. It is also possible that the photograph captures the storm, which is quite unusual for a quiet "reservoirs" of Titan, said NASA.
Astronomers call an unknown object "magic island", as long as they do not have a clear idea what is captured by Cassini, writes The Guardian.

"We can not be sure exactly what it is, because we only have one image. But this object on Titan was not there before," - said Jason Hofgertner from Cornell University in New York (to quote the material on the website of the University) .

Titan is one of the most unusual places in the solar system. Furthermore earth only on its surface have proved the existence of the liquid. It is also the only Moon with a thick atmosphere. Titan's surface is dotted with sand dunes, which are composed of particles of frozen hydrocarbons. Hills rise above the lakes and rivers filled with liquid methane and ethane. These elements also form clouds, which are the source of precipitation.

Gravity is so weak that people attach to the hands of the wings, could fly. When this creature from Earth can not exist on Titan without special adaptations for breathing - the atmosphere of this heavenly body soaked deadly hydrogen cyanide for earthlings. Titan, which is smaller than the Earth more than twice as often compared to our planet in the early stages of development. Scientists do not exclude that the satellite can exist simplest life forms.

On the map of Titan's surface is currently applied methane-ethane dozens of lakes. The three largest, which are sometimes called "seas" were named after the mythological sea animals: Kraken (giant clam in the legends of Scandinavia, Greece), Ligeya (siren in Ancient Greece), Punga (son of the sea god, the father of sharks and rays in New Zealand Maori ). The mystery of the "white clot" is associated with the second largest lake league. Among the photographs of this particular lake, made in 2007, 2009 and 2013, there was one with the image of an unknown object. Spot (according to scientists, in reality it was about 12 miles long and six - wide) appears in a picture dated 10 July 2013, but not on the previously made photos. No image on it and dated July 26.

In seeking an explanation anomalies scientists excluded hardware error. According to them, the object could be an iceberg. According to other versions, Cassini could climb up to capture solid particles or gas bubbles, or on the picture hit the waves. The latest version is particularly interested astronomers because unrest in the surface waters may be a sign of warming on Titan (the temperature at the surface of the satellite currently averages minus 180 degrees).

Previously, scientists have found that the surface of the lake Ligeya usually smooth as glass, the height of "waves" of less than a millimeter. This is because the wind on Titan virtually none. But this could change if the weather gets warmer. In this case, the researchers predict, force winds and waters may appear waves. Astronomers say that Titan also has a change of seasons, but unlike Earth every season lasts three months and seven Earth years. In the northern hemisphere, where the league, now in its fourth year last spring and summer 2017 will come. There is reason to suspect that in the near future may come sudden warming, scientists ascertain VIDEO:

 


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