January 04, 2007

Methane lakes

I have just been sitting wondering a bit about the news that NASA says they now have found what appears to be lakes of Methane on Titan, the largest of Saturns moons.

I was looking a bit at the properties of Methane, at first just looking at the estimated mean temperature on Titan I was a bit amazed that this was possible and gravity is even less than on the earth and therefore the pressure is also less, but then I checked the article linked to above and read that it was only possible on the poles (where the radar images are also from) because the temperatures are much lower there.

I can't help but wonder how things look on Titan, how it would be walking around there (even though I would probably need all kinds of protective equipment) and things like that.
What would happen if you stroke a match on Titan? Probably nothing at all ... I haven't been checking up on this and I guess I don't know my chemistry well enough to figure this out without quite an effort (the easy way to figure it out would be seeking the internet, hoping someone better at chemistry than me has asked themselves that question too, I haven't done that either).

Try reading the Climate part of the Wikipedia article linked to above. Clouds and maybe even rain of methane. Surely fascinating stuff

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