Getting Ready in the Morning

 

Dragonfly – Mission to Titan (2026)

Saturn’s largest moon is an exceptional environment in our Solar System. With its methane-filled lakes, icy volcanoes, and underground caves, it seems worlds apart from our own Earth. But the first geomorphological map of Titan reveals that while its landscape is incredibly impressive and diverse, these factors actually make it strangely similar to Earth.

Other than Earth, Titan is the only other body in the Solar System that is known to have stable liquid on its surface. But unlike Earth, Titan’s lakes, rivers, and seas are made up of the liquid methane and ethane that rain down from its clouds. Titan is also the only moon with a substantial atmosphere and dense-enough air to allow a person to walk through its rough landscape without a spacesuit to weigh them down (although what with the methane rain and lakes, you would have some other hazards to contend with…).

The Dragonfly Mission will use a rotorcraft (sort of a octo-rotor affair) to explore Titan, collect samples and return them to Earth.

The first Map of Titan

 

If Betelgeuse becomes a supernova, what will it be seen from Earth?

Astronomers believe that Betelgeuse has about 20 solar masses, but it could be as little as 15, and our observations from other massive stars like this suggest that if they have up to 15 of 16 solar masses explode when they are in red super phase giant.

That leads to an explosion that remains roughly the same glow for about three months before it fades away.

What would we have left after Betelgeuse becomes supernova?

Orion, the hunter’s left shoulder, would no longer exist, although anyone with a telescope, and certainly space telescopes, would be treated with a vision similar to a supernova residue as the unusually brilliant Crab Nebula.

Crater Chains

This remarkable row of 13 craters so together over the moon of Jupiter Ganymede’s was photographed by the Galileo space probe in 1997. The photograph covers an area of about 200 km wide and the crater chain crosses a defined border between dark and light terrain.

During the exploration of the Solar System, crater chains like this have been discovered in several places. They were considered a mystery until the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet offered us an exciting lesson. In 1994, many inhabitants of planet Earth observed how massive pieces of this broken asteroid were launched inside Jupiter in a spectacular series of back-to-back impacts.

Similarly broken asteroids in the early history of the Solar System are most likely responsible for this and other crater chains.

15 COMMENTS

      • WWW, there is no shame in needing to walk artillery up to the target. Some of the best people I know have had to do that.

        • And others sometimes follow along behind the rolling barrage.
          I heard that, pre-WWII, congress put some pressure on the military because soldiers were getting injured during these drills.
          So then WWII breaks out, soldiers were following too far behind the barrage because of govt imposed training standards, and a bunch started getting killed or injured by the enemy – who had time to pop back up out of their bunkers/foxholes after the barrage passed over and start shooting.

  1. Exploring Titan and maybe mining its atmosphere. No need to go back to those pesky inner planets to refuel ever again.

    Betelgeuse has been getting dimmer and then brighter again as long as humans have been around and probably longer but there isn’t any set period like a lot of variable stars. One of these days it will just get brighter, and brighter, and brighter. Hope I am around to see that spectacular sight.

    Agree with Ed B, someone is definitely calling in the range.

  2. Dragonfly — Funny how reality eventually imitates sci-fi…watched the beginning of Man of Steel (slow night and now can’t see Costner as anything but Yellowstone’s Dutton)…Kryton ships were dragonfly types.

    Betegeuse — And here I though that was a super bright moon last night reflecting off the fresh snow and crisp air. Took a walk at midnight, no torch required. Then again, maybe this is what that [idiot] savant AOC was saying would end us in – what – 5 years? Never know, it’s as good a theory as anything else by the self-loathers who demand we join in their personal misery.

    Crater String — Looks like a Venusian pole barn contractor who got interrupted by the local permitting authority and is waiting for permission to continue drilling holes. Either that or it was the start of a Ven-Oil pipeline President Mush-for-Brains isn’t supporting because they’re not Russians. Spit-balling here.

    • In the new DUNE film, the aircraft look just like dragonflies. I tried to keep from drifting in that direction in this morning’s post because the mission to Titan is a real thing. But you are on point. Life imitates art.

  3. Ah, “Crater Chain.”

    In today’s difficult times code is important. See US foreign policy. But what am I saying, see everything.

    Praying things don’t go supernova in E Europe.

  4. Not walking fire on that crater chain, but it’s excellent control on full-auto asteriod shooting.

    As to Betelgeuse, at least its far enough away the radiation storm won’t get us. Will suck for anything in the vicinity, though. That whole location, location, location thingy.

    Will be interesting to see if SpaceX lands a Starship on Titan before NASA gets the copter built. Since the EVA spacesuit that NASA’s been working on for 20 damned years won’t be ready till 2025 or so, and SpaceX announced they’re gonna be putting an enhanced flight-suit based EVA suit in orbit by end of 2022. (And I’m sure that curdled that rat bastard Bill Nelson’s (head of NASA) balls really good over that.

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