June 23, 2014

Scientists baffled by mystery object in lake on Saturn's moon Titan

Titan is one of the most extraordinary places in the solar system. The land is strewn with hydrocarbon dunes that rise above lakes fed by rivers of liquid methane and ethane. The atmosphere is so thick, and the gravity so weak, that a human could strap on wings and flap into the air. That air is laced with lethal hydrogen cyanide.


Scientists are investigating a mystery object, (see image above) roughly 12 miles long and 6 miles wide, that appeared in an image dated July 10, 2013 but is missing from pictures of the same spot taken previously and on July 26, 2014.

Astronomers have named the blob the "magic island" until they have a better idea what they are looking at. "We can't be sure what it is yet because we only have the one image, but it's not something you would normally see on Titan," said Jason Hofgartner, a planetary scientist at Cornell University in New York. "It is not something that has been there permanently." Read full article

 

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