Ice Volcano on Titan

January 13, 2011

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found possible ice volcanoes on Saturn’s moon Titan that are similar in shape to those on Earth that spew molten rock. Topography and surface composition data have enabled scientists to make the best case yet in the outer solar system for an Earth-like volcano landform that erupts in ice. The results were presented today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. “When we look at our new 3-D map of Sotra Facula on Titan, we are struck by its resemblance to volcanoes like Mt. Etna in Italy, Laki in Iceland and even some small volcanic cones and flows near my hometown of Flagstaff,” said Randolph Kirk, who led the 3-D mapping work, and is a Cassini radar team member and geophysicist at the US Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Ariz. Scientists have been debating for years whether ice volcanoes, also called cryovolcanoes, exist on ice-rich moons, and if they do, what their characteristics are. The working definition assumes some kind of subterranean geological activity warms the cold environment enough to melt part of the satellite’s interior and sends slushy ice or other materials through an opening in the surface. Volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io and Earth spew silicate lava. Some cryovolcanoes bear little resemblance to terrestrial volcanoes, such as the tiger stripes at Saturn’s moon Enceladus, where long fissures spray jets of water and icy particles that leave little trace on the surface. At


25 Responses to “Ice Volcano on Titan”

  1. KillRilla on January 13th, 2011 2:52 pm

    @Heavyassalter GOT THAT RIGHT!!

  2. maddhattertime on January 13th, 2011 3:44 pm

    @hardcoded I agree, but for one, the US government DESPERATELY needs to trim its WAY overbloated military spending and reallocate that money towards NASA and science programs. We cannot advance without science!

  3. TheBenjaminVrenko on January 13th, 2011 4:04 pm

    a tow mountain

  4. sdrawkcabgnipytmi on January 13th, 2011 4:36 pm

    Bacteria are considered life, nobody contests that.

  5. Eletrocx on January 13th, 2011 5:36 pm

    How do u define life? is bacteria consider as life forms?

  6. YeahNigguhhh on January 13th, 2011 6:13 pm

    @Heavyassalter fuck off

  7. NobbyKNobbs on January 13th, 2011 6:56 pm

    So is the water and ammonia mixture hot like magma from a volcano or is it just seeping out from the ground near a volcano-like structure?

  8. SuperBoomstick on January 13th, 2011 7:17 pm

    @nebnubs ya, with high concentrations of methanol and ammonia for flavoring. Side effects may include blindness and death =P

  9. Ivin3690 on January 13th, 2011 7:39 pm

    lol chill everybody gets hated on on youtube. accent or no accent.

  10. zenoparodie on January 13th, 2011 8:30 pm

    @scuz55 a satellite for each person? i doubt that, but if it will ever happen, i dont think we will still be here to see it ;), anyawy i’m glad i helped you, cheers.

  11. afreecountry on January 13th, 2011 9:26 pm

    Cool, didnt even know there was such thing as ice volcano’s, interesting concept.

  12. scuz55 on January 13th, 2011 9:58 pm

    @zenoparodie wow lots of money just to see it 🙁 .. but I guess its not cheap to have a satellite in space..maybe one day they will be free for all to view. thanks for the reply

  13. hardcoded on January 13th, 2011 10:31 pm

    NASA is slowly preparing us for major breakthroughs on life sciences. So many new discoveries, here and elsewhere, and the slow but steady disclosure of new data can only spell one thing: There is strong evidence for life in places other than our planet.

  14. x13nick13x on January 13th, 2011 10:56 pm

    @no1frontman You’re the one moaning about a fucking joke, ass hole.

  15. zenoparodie on January 13th, 2011 11:54 pm

    @scuz55 you have to pay 500 euros a month to google to have a real time Google earth, i’m not sure how much it is in America, and im not really sure if its’s actually 500, but being you able to use a satellite cam, if you have such a contract, im guessing its 5000 eurose per month.
    Or maybe im just wrong and there is no way to have what you asked for.

  16. zenoparodie on January 14th, 2011 12:48 am

    so…. there could be life in the underground of Titan??

  17. no1frontman on January 14th, 2011 1:33 am

    @x13nick13x listen to the words, not the delivery, retards, feel free to moan about silly things

  18. profesorsergio on January 14th, 2011 2:03 am

    I love Cassini-Huygens, Saturn and Titan. You are a great scientist and a wonderful person Rosaly.
    Feliz Natal. People who make fun of accent sare really mean.You are unique. Beijossss!!!, Sérgio.

  19. scuz55 on January 14th, 2011 2:48 am

    the volcano is giving birth to little puppies. See for yourself @1:00 left hand corner of the red hot lava

  20. scuz55 on January 14th, 2011 3:18 am

    does anybody know if there is anywhere online where I can view satellite images of a country in real time???

  21. sucker4life09 on January 14th, 2011 4:04 am

    i dont like living in my volcano. it gets hot at night…

  22. kkkY11111 on January 14th, 2011 4:12 am

    accents are kewl 😮

  23. darkbluemars on January 14th, 2011 4:41 am

    i like her accent :3

  24. nebnubs on January 14th, 2011 5:14 am

    I like her voice, and heard and understood everything she said. Now for Titan, if we can inject an editable sugary mixture inside this mountain, we could have sno-cone creating volcano.

  25. x13nick13x on January 14th, 2011 6:09 am

    @N37BU6 no u

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