Monday, October 15, 2007

Forecast: drizzle

According to new reports released by researchers, you should probably pack your wet weather gear if you plan on traveling to Titan. If not, you could spend time getting wet from the morning drizzle.

"The rain could be caused by processes similar to those on Earth. Moisture laden clouds pushed upslope by winds condense to form a coastal rain," stated Imke de Pater, an astronomer at U C Berkeley.

It seems that the morning forcast on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, includes some cold and miserable weather for travelors there, as in 300 degrees below zero and a steady morning drizzle. Scientists state that the process for the drizzle seems to be similar to that on Earth but the rain is methane, an explosive gas here but chilled to a liquid on Titan.

Researchers led by Mate Adamkovics of the University of California, Berkeley have used infared images to analyze the moon and found that most of the images contained methane clouds and drizzle seen in the morning. Depending on the condtions they state, it could be a ground mist or hit the surface of the moon as a steady drizzle.

The researchers also state that the drizzle seems to end around 10:30 am, Titan time, which would seem to leave plenty of time for the day's activities if you are visiting there. Of course you have to take into account, if you are dividing the Titan day into 24 hours and take into account that Titan takes 16 Earth days to rotate once, the drizzle would last for about three Earth days after sunrise on the moon.

Just on those notes, I probably won't be adding Titan to my vacation "to do" list any time in the near future.

No comments: