Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mysterious Island Appears on Titan

Now: A photo from July 2013 of the mysterious ’magic island’ transient feature in Ligeia Mare (circled in red), acquired by the Cassini probe

A unidentified and mysterious piece of land has appeared out of nowhere in radar images of Saturn’s giant moon, Titan, which is now being dubbed the ‘magic island’. Scientists  can not explain how it simply just appeared in a new photograph.  However, as quickly as it appeared, it vanished in later images, and no one knows why

As it was: A 2007 image of the area of the transient feature in Titan’s sea Ligeia Mare before it was discovered
As it was: A 2007 image of the area of the transient feature in Titan’s sea Ligeia Mare before it was discovered...no island

When compared to older flybys taken in 2007, this object did not exist, but scientists believe this newly discovered feature could be the result of waves, bubbles or buoyant solid matter.
Jason Hofgartner, a second year Phd. grad student at Cornell University in New York, said,
“This discovery tells us that the liquids in Titan’s northern hemisphere are not simply stagnant and unchanging, but rather that changes do occur. We don’t know precisely what caused this to appear, but we’d like to study it further.”

The object was discovered while scientists were examining images of Ligeia Mare, Titan’s second-largest sea, which was captured by the Cassini space probe. Prior to July 2013 the sea had appeared flat and void of any objects, waves or landmasses.
The appearance, and disappearance, of the ‘magic island’ remains unexplained.Titan is the only planetary body in the solar system besides Earth known to have large expanses of liquid on its surface.

Many thanx to my NASA Junior Scientists and champion debaters - Jonny and Chris


  1. Jonny and Chris8:07:00 PM

    Aunt Jeannie
    Chris and I turned our papers in yesterday , daddy carried us to get them this evening after helping with the cake and yard sale . Chris and I both got a B+ on our papers . Chris did his at his house and I did mine at my house so we would have different ideas . Our teacher said we did a good job . Hope you are feeling better and keeping cool and we are sending you lots of ice cream to keep the belly cool , every one say hello .
    Wrote by Jonny

  2. Hi Jonny,
    Congratulations on the b+...well done buddy. I hope the cake and yard sale went very well. You'll soon have all the money the team needs for DC. Ice-cream is an awesome gift on a hot summer night. Sending you a bathtub full of icy, fruit smoothies. If you can't drink it all, just jump in and cool off.
    Love you guys...Aunt Jeannie.

    PS: Knock 'em dead in Washington.


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