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Titan Review article
rlorenz
post Dec 14 2007, 05:02 PM
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This just out. Not earth-shattering, but colorful - maybe handy as an up-to-date
Titan intro

http://www.jhuapl.edu/techdigest/td2702/lorenz.pdf
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ugordan
post Dec 14 2007, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE
"Figure 1. A false-color composite of Cassini International Space Station (ISS) images."

biggrin.gif


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volcanopele
post Dec 14 2007, 05:42 PM
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Well, I guess the secret is out. The ISS camera is actually a space station attached to Cassini. So while Ralph and the others have to wait for there data to be played back, a group of us and I are actually in orbit around Saturn in our nice, comfortable station.


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&@^^!% Jim! I'm a geologist, not a physicist!
The Gish Bar Times - A Blog all about Jupiter's Moon Io
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djellison
post Dec 14 2007, 06:02 PM
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I assume the D is for Danger?

smile.gif

Doug
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remcook
post Dec 14 2007, 06:07 PM
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Yeah that Space Station also makes its appearance in the New Solar System (I think) book smile.gif

edit - it was the encyclopedia of te solar system
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rlorenz
post Dec 16 2007, 03:57 PM
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Hmm. So nice of you all to speak in such glowing terms about the content as a
whole rather than getting hung up on a typo........
Note to self - stop posting to UMSF, just causes grief.

The ISS mistranslation did not originate with me - I just checked my manuscript -
must have got introduced in typesetting. But I should have caught it at the
proofing stage.

(Doug - must be D for Deathwish)
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djellison
post Dec 16 2007, 04:29 PM
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Hand on heart - I've been keeping it ready for today so I can read it in chunks while waiting for videos to render out for a work project - and it's bloody good. I'm out of the loop with Titan in a major way - it's orange, it's fuzzy, it's probably sticky - that's about it. This piece is pitched perfectly at the enthusiast who needs the Titan 101. Almost reminds me of the kids news show Newsround...not the kids bit, but the way it explains the indepth facts, whilst educating enough on the go to put them in context. Not easy.

Nicely done smile.gif

"Plotting updates on
its location on a wall-chart map of Titan could become
a daily activity in schools"

You KNOW that's Tesheiners job, right? Purveyor of virtual pins+strings.

Doug
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Mongo
post Dec 16 2007, 04:30 PM
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You know that we're just teasing. I personally thought that the article was a good basic introduction to Titan for newcomers.

Bill
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Floyd
post Dec 16 2007, 05:21 PM
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Ralph, I really enjoyed the article--keep up the excellent work. Don't let the nitpickers at UMSF get you down--most UMSF readers just enjoy a good read and don't comment one way or another. Definitely keep posting.
-Floyd


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nprev
post Dec 16 2007, 06:45 PM
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Great article, Ralph; certainly a call to arms for future missions. Thanks for sharing it with us! smile.gif


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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Rob Pinnegar
post Dec 16 2007, 06:54 PM
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Nice article. I picked up a few things from it that I didn't know before today.
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Webscientist
post Dec 16 2007, 08:12 PM
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I bought in 2004 "Lifting Titan's Veil".It's of course the reference for Titan and I will reread it very soon to compare with what we know now ( presented in Titan revealed).

I'm fascinated by the radar images of the lakes in your Titan review.Unfortunately, the radar images don't give any indication on the appearance of the liquid.Does it appear dark, orange, blue... from a human eye?

Some dark and uniform patches located on the "white snow" of Iapetus made me think they were pools of hydrocarbons, similar to what we might find on Titan. Do you think that the idea is relevant?
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JRehling
post Dec 16 2007, 11:08 PM
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Great synopsis. The points regarding the diversity of the chemistry were new to me.

I think the comment about mobility and exploration is dead-on, and the map of a possible groundtrack got my imagination going. I think I would expect greater return from a two-balloon mission than one lander + one balloon.

I'm reminded of how the original plan for Mariner 8 and 9 intended to place one in an orbit producing high phase angle imagery and the other into an orbit providing low phase angle imagery, so that the two data sets would complement one another. The failure of Mariner 8 spoiled this plan, but it was an interesting strategy.

So I wonder about a two-balloon mission that placed the two balloons not only at different latitudes, but also different altitudes. A lot of the diversity of Titan correlates with latitude, and a single balloon would run the hazard of permanently missing some of that diversity, even if it lasted a very long time.

So, off the cuff, I am thinking about a mission with an equatorial balloon that begins its mission at around 20 km altitude, and a polar balloon (preferably northern, at around 80-85N) at around 3-5 km. The northern lake districts provide diversity that would be interesting to probe extensively. The low altitude would mean narrower imaging noodles, so we would be rooting for it to complete many laps. Meanwhile, the equatorial balloon would have wider imaging at lower resolution. If it does have an extremely extended lifetime, it might be desirable to drop its altitude after it had circumnavigated Titan a few times. As for the polar balloon, it would be nice to have it migrate eventually to the mid latitudes, but this may not be possible. The balloons might be flown until they fail, or their mobility could be sacrificed in order to provide a "lander" somewhere. With two, we could split the difference, keeping one flying indefinitely while landing another.

At the end of a mission like this, we would have a lot of ground-truthing of most of Titan's interesting terrain types. We could select some high-value targets for the initial entry points (with much of what followed being left to the chance of circulation patterns). Of course, an orbiter would provide comprehensive mapping at resolutions intermediate between the balloons' and Cassini's. At the end, we'd have a rough global map, with enough ground-truthing to feel like we know the place pretty well. Then if we send another lander, we'd know where we want to send it. Right now, picking which places on Titan's surface NOT to explore if we only sent 1 or 2 landers feels like choosing which of your children you love least.
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Stu
post Dec 16 2007, 11:55 PM
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Great intro to the wonders and mysteries of Titan, Ralph. There's a lot there I can use - if it's ok? - in my Outreach talks in schools here in the UK. Titan really is second only to Mars on my personal "Most Fascinating Worlds in the Solar System" list.

You do know people weren't criticising but just josh'n with ya, right? wink.gif I've lost count of the number of times I've been sniggered at for putting rising or setting Suns in MER panoramas where they've no right to be, it's all just part of the UMSF fun!


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ngunn
post Dec 17 2007, 10:06 AM
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Great article, thanks for sharing it here. In advocating further exploration of Titan after Cassini I almost dare to believe you will be pushing on an open door. This world is the perfect challenge for 21st century science. Yes, big spending will be required, but it will be science that ordinary people can relate to (unlike string theory or 'dark energy'). Mars is our new Wild West, Titan our new Antarctica. Exciting times.

QUOTE (rlorenz @ Dec 16 2007, 03:57 PM) *
Note to self - stop posting to UMSF, just causes grief.


No No ! The lesson is quite otherwise. Post here before publication and take advantage of the free nit-picking service. smile.gif
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