The Glitter of Distant Seas

  title={The Glitter of Distant Seas},
  author={Ralph D. Lorenz},
  pages={403 - 404}
  • R. Lorenz
  • Published 17 October 2003
  • Physics, Geology
  • Science
It has long been known that Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has a thick nitrogen atmosphere, which obscures the underlying surface. In his Perspective, Lorenz highlights the report by Campbell et al., who have used the giant Arecibo and Green Bank radio telescopes as a radar to probe Titan's hidden surface. The surface appears to be distinct from those of the icy satellites of Jupiter, in both brightness and polarization. The new data show sharp spikes in the reflected microwave spectrum… 

Detecting the glint of starlight on the oceans of distant planets

Atmospheric Electrification in the Solar System

  • K. Aplin
  • Physics, Environmental Science
  • 2006
Atmospheric electrification is not a purely terrestrial phenomenon: all Solar System planetary atmospheres become slightly electrified by cosmic ray ionisation. There is evidence for lightning on

The application of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to the analysis of geological samples in simulated extra-terrestrial atmospheric environments

Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a technique that can determine the elemental composition and quantities of a sample by the spectral analysis of a laser induced plume. This study was

Prokaryotic diversity of arctic ice shelf microbial mats.

Findings provide the first insight into the prokaryotic biodiversity of Arctic ice shelf communities and underscore the importance of these cryo-ecosystems as a rich source of microbiota that are adapted to extreme cold.



Evidence for the Exposure of Water Ice on Titan's Surface

A spectrum of Titan's surface within these “windows” was derived and features characteristic of water ice were detected, suggesting that despite the hundreds of meters of organic liquids and solids hypothesized to exist on Titan’s surface, its icy bedrock lies extensively exposed.

Radar Reflectivity of Titan

The present understanding of the atmosphere and surface conditions on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, including the stability of methane, and an application of thermodynamics leads to a strong

Radar Evidence for Liquid Surfaces on Titan

Arecibo radar observations of Titan indicate that most of the echo power is in a diffusely scattered component but that a small specular component is present for about 75% of the subearth locations observed.

Titan: High-Resolution Speckle Images from the Keck Telescope

Abstract Saturn's large moon Titan is unique among planetary satellites in that it possesses a thick atmosphere and a haze layer that is opaque to visible light. This haze is believed to be composed

Radar Investigation of Mars, Mercury, and Titan

Radar astronomy is the study of the surfaces and near surfaces of Solar System objects using active transmission of modulated radio waves and the detection of the reflected energy. The scientific

Titan's Surface, Revealed by HST Imaging

We present for the first time relative albedo maps of Titan's surface. The maps were made from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's planetary camera (295 km per pixel) through atmospheric

Ethane Ocean on Titan

It is proposed that Saturn's satellite Titan is covered by an ocean one to several kilometers deep consisting mainly of ethane, and the coexisting atmosphere is compatible with Voyager data.

The tide in the seas of Titan

The surface temperature of Titan1 is about 95 K, between the melting point (90.6 K) and the boiling point (118 K) of methane at the total surface pressure of 1.6 bar. Voyager 1 IR observations1,2