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Unexpected belt of ice on Titan
MarcF
post May 1 2019, 01:39 PM
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A massive belt of water ice, 6,300 kilometers long, has been identified on the surface of Titan.
https://www.space.com/titan-saturn-moon-wei...-formation.html
“It’s possible that we are seeing something that’s a vestige of a time when Titan was quite different,” says Griffith. “It can’t be explained by what we see there now.” Titan is probably not geologically active now, but the exposed ice could be a sign of the moon’s crust shifting or quaking in the past.
The ice may be embedded in the side of cliff faces exposed by erosion, rather than flat on the ground, Griffith says"

The water ice feature localizes to the huge linear formation including the Aztlan sand sea and its extensions on each side, which is probably not a coincidence. It reminds me the complex ridge-trough system at least 3200 km long extending north-to-south along the 155° meridian on Pluto.
Regards,
Marc
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Ian R
post May 1 2019, 09:54 PM
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It does indeed line up incredibly well with Aztlan:

https://media.springernature.com/m685/sprin...6_Fig2_HTML.png


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ngunn
post May 2 2019, 08:12 AM
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Yes, but more specifically the western margin of Aztlan. Many other icy areas appear also off the eastern 'shores' of bright areas, consistent with earlier notions of plains that are relatively denuded of fresh dune sands, as at the Huygens landing site.
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MarcF
post May 2 2019, 01:31 PM
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I have always been surprised by the huge straight linear feature stretching between Hotei and Aaru, including Aztlan. I've mentioned the complex ridge-trough system found on Pluto, but it could also be compared to Mariner Vallis on Mars or Ithaca on Tethys. Could we imagine that this structure corresponds to the remains of an ancient huge chasm, eroded and filled with tholin sands? The water ice might correspond to ancient exposed walls, as seen on Pluto.
Marc.
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stevesliva
post May 2 2019, 04:25 PM
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^ rifting a la Ithaca Chasma makes sense to me. You'd just think Titan would be ductile.
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Explorer1
post May 2 2019, 06:46 PM
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Could the proposed Dragonfly mission land somewhere in that region, or make it there after the initial landing?
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vjkane
post May 4 2019, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ May 2 2019, 11:46 AM) *
Could the proposed Dragonfly mission land somewhere in that region, or make it there after the initial landing?

The proposed landing site for Dragonfly hasn't been publicly revealed so far as I know. The example area shown in their presentations at OPAG, etc. are for an area to the east of Xanadu. I looked at the scientific paper, and a portion of the belt goes to the south. So it is possible that Dragonfly could work its way there. This particular region has many interesting features, so I wouldn't expect a mad dash (and if they are cliff faces, Dragonfly may want to stay far away).

The landing at least will be in the dunes region where flat terrain separates the dunes. Safety first.


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Steve5304
post May 5 2019, 03:27 AM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ May 4 2019, 06:25 PM) *
The proposed landing site for Dragonfly hasn't been publicly revealed so far as I know. The example area shown in their presentations at OPAG, etc. are for an area to the east of Xanadu. I looked at the scientific paper, and a portion of the belt goes to the south. So it is possible that Dragonfly could work its way there. This particular region has many interesting features, so I wouldn't expect a mad dash (and if they are cliff faces, Dragonfly may want to stay far away).

The landing at least will be in the dunes region where flat terrain separates the dunes. Safety first.



There isnt any proposed landing site for dragonfly. In fact, if I was a betting man I would bet dragonfly doesn't even happen. It's far too ambitous...the competition is a sample asteroid turn with proven technology and in our neighborhood.

just saying..dont hate..i want to go back to titan also
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titanicrivers
post May 23 2019, 01:45 AM
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I have wondered as have others https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09034 that the circular structure just to the south may be the remnant of a huge impact crater that may have caused a linear tectonic rift to develop exposing subsurface ice now found in Aztlan. SARtopo data and T23 SAR's geomorphic unit maps provide soft evidence that the circular feature might be an eroded impact structure.
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ngunn
post May 23 2019, 08:22 AM
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I think there is a problem with time scales when linking the ice feature to any proposed ancient impact structure. The ice signature presumably traces a current or recent active process, also it conspicuously fails to follow the big circle.
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rlorenz
post May 24 2019, 12:01 AM
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QUOTE (ngunn @ May 23 2019, 03:22 AM) *
The ice signature presumably traces a current or recent active process, also it conspicuously fails to follow the big circle.


It is notable that the signature appears on the eastern margins of bright areas, where they grade into dunefields (this pattern is seen in the ejecta of some craters, as well as in the large-scale bright features). Such a consistent bias suggests something to do with the atmospheric circulation, perhaps via precipitation/erosion of icy bedrock, or by removing sand that was covering it up. It's an interesting puzzle.
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