The largest of Saturn’s many moons has lakes, mountains and dunes, with its surface scarred and crafted by many of the same forces which have shaped Earth, scientists said Monday.
A team led by Rosaly Lopes at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) said Titan’s visible exterior was “one of the most geologically diverse in the Solar System.”
“Despite the differences in materials, temperatures and gravity fields between Earth and Titan, many of their surface features are similar and can be interpreted as products of the same geologic processes,” the scientists said in an article in Nature Astronomy.
Using radar and infra-red data generated by the now defunct Cassini probe, which completed a 20-year mission by crashing into Saturn in 2017, the scientists said they could fill in many of the gaps in mapping Titan, some 1.2 billion kilometres (800 million miles) from Earth.
Dunes and lakes, they said, were relatively young while mountainous terrain appeared older.
Titan’s surface was sculpted by the accumulation and erosion of sediment and showed “clear latitudinal variation, with dunes at the equator, plains at mid-latitudes and labyrinth terrains and lakes at the poles,” they said.
The region around the equator is arid, with Titan getting wetter closer to the poles.
Just as on Earth, Titan’s surface has been marked by impact craters, liquid- and air-driven erosion, methane-laden rainfall, tectonic plate movement and possible volcanic activity.
Alice Le Gall, one of the team and working at Paris-Saclay University, said Titan “is the only known extra-terrestrial body to have liquid bodies on its surface.”
Methane exists in three states — solid, liquid and gas — at super-cold temperatures. It produces a cycle similar to that of rain falling on Earth to form rivers and lakes, and then evaporating to form clouds again, Le Gall told AFP.
© 2019 AFP
‘You don’t get to dictate terms’: Trump soundly mocked for demanding speedy resolution to impeachment
President Donald Trump broke with his Republican defenders, who say impeachment is moving too fast, and demanded a quick resolution to the constitutional process.
House Democrats moved the impeachment process from the Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee after nearly two weeks of testimony, and Trump called for a speedy end to the matter.
"The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House," Trump tweeted. "They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy."
"Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business," he added. "We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to 'Clean the Swamp,' and that’s what I am doing!"
‘Our democracy is what’s at stake’: Pelosi shreds Trump in blistering endorsement of impeachment
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday endorsed drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and made the case that the president's actions made him a threat to American democracy.
During her address, Pelosi explained that the stakes in impeaching Trump were the very foundations of American government.
"Our democracy is at stake," she said. "The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security, and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections."
InfoWars made up lies about Islamic community to help Alex Jones generate more traffic: former writer
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Josh Owens, a former staffer at the fringe conspiracy theory site InfoWars, admitted that his team knowingly promoted fake stories about Islamberg, a rural religious community founded by mostly Black Muslims from New York City on the border between New York and Pennsylvania.
According to Owens, InfoWars initially conducted interviews with people near the community, hoping that they would tell horror stories about a group of militants hellbent on enslaving America under Sharia law. Instead, locals described the people of Islamberg as "kind, generous neighbors." This wasn't a story Alex Jones would have been able to sell to his far-right conspiracy theorist audience — so, Owens said, his team decided to just lie.