Ice Volcanoes of Titan

NASA may have spotted evidence of ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon.

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 U.S. 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.

source, more

More like this

Just so you know, scientists do not seem to be able to detect the difference between a 3 foot and a 30 foot deformation of the surface of a planetoid body that is about one and a half billion kilometers away, and we know this because NASA's Cassini space ship had to actually go all the way to one…
"Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody." -Mark Twain Back before the telescope was invented, Saturn was known as the Old Man of the Skies. The slowest-moving of the naked-eye planets, it's the only one that would reliably be in nearly the same location, year after…
But not that moon. Saturn's moon. And it is not really the Nile. But, just as the Nile is one of the longest rivers on Earth, this new river is the longest river observed anywhere other than the earth. Yay Earth, you have the Longest Rivers known to Earthlings! Scientists with NASA's Cassini…
A new NOVA is on the way. "Voyage to the Mystery Moon" is about Titan and the planet it goes around, Saturn. Chronicling a bold voyage of discovery--the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and its enigmatic moon Titan--"Voyage to the Mystery Moon" delivers striking images of these fascinating…

BFD. When they find evidence of a beer volcano, that'll be something.

NASA recently reported a beer volcano on a nearby planet. They had a press release and a press conference and everything, even an animation.

But then it turned out to be Miller Lite. The blogosphere went nuts and NASA lost all its credibility.

is the "lava" that comes out of the cryovolcano then water, or is it just a water-like substance?
(15035744)

By Lizanne Lombard (not verified) on 08 Apr 2015 #permalink