Tech & Science Scientists Recreate Titan’s Methane Ocean In Lab

15:39  08 february  2018
15:39  08 february  2018 Source:   International Business Times

This creepy fish with hands just doubled in known population

  This creepy fish with hands just doubled in known population This creepy fish with hands just doubled in known populationScientists thought there were only 20-40 red handfish in the entire ocean and that they all lived within one square kilometre in Frederick Henry Bay off the coast of Tasmania. That was until last week, when another eight were found, with an estimated 20-40 more fish hiding in the area several kilometres from the previously known population.

To further the study of Titan , which NASA has been analyzing using data collected by the Cassini mission, scientists at Washington State University recreated a methane ocean in a laboratory .

Scientists at the U. S . Department of Energy’ s Brookhaven National Laboratory have recreated the high-pressure, low-temperature conditions of the seafloor in a tabletop apparatus for the study of methane -hydrates, an abundant but currently

Sunlight glints off of Titan’s northern seas in this near-infrared, color mosaic from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. © Provided by IBT US Sunlight glints off of Titan’s northern seas in this near-infrared, color mosaic from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Saturn’s moon Titan is only second in size to Jupiter’s Ganymede, in the list of the largest moons in the solar system, but it is the largest body after Earth that has stable liquid surface oceans. The liquid in question is not water, however; it is methane, and NASA plans to send an autonomous submarine to study it, sometime in the next 20 years.

To further the study of Titan, which NASA has been analyzing using data collected by the Cassini mission, scientists at Washington State University recreated a methane ocean in a laboratory. To be exact, the WSU researchers built a test chamber filled with a “liquid mixture at very cold temperatures to simulate the seas of Titan. They added a two-inch, cylinder-shaped cartridge heater that would approximate the heat that a submarine would create.”

Alien Life Hunt: Oxygen Isn't the Only Possible Sign of Life

  Alien Life Hunt: Oxygen Isn't the Only Possible Sign of Life Alien-life hunters should keep an open mind when scanning the atmospheres of exoplanets, a new study stresses.  The time-honored strategy of looking for oxygen is indeed a good one, study team members said; after all, it's tough for this gas to build up in a planet's atmosphere if life isn't there churning it out.

Now, scientists at NASA and WSU have recreated that alien ocean in the lab , to test out designs for submarines that may one day dive into the Titanic depths. An early concept for NASA' s submarine, which would explore the liquid methane -ethane oceans of Titan (Credit: NASA).

Because Titan ' s surface is mostly made of water ice, which is abundant in moons of the outer solar system, scientists believe Titan ' s ocean is likely Methane is abundant in Titan ' s atmosphere, yet researchers believe the methane is unstable, so there must be a supply to maintain its abundance.

The research team was led by Ian Richardson, a former WSU graduate student who interned at NASA. During the internship, which was on an unrelated subject, he was asked by a NASA scientist about the problem of designing a submarine for Titan.

“My research just took a right turn, and I went with it. It’s a crazy experiment, and I never thought I would have had this opportunity. It’s been a very fun and challenging experimental design problem,” Richardson said in a statement Wednesday.

Two of the biggest problems the researchers came across while designing the test chamber were the formation of bubbles and capturing videos at the temperature which was very far below freezing.

If the future submarine is powered by a heat-generating mechanism, it would form nitrogen bubbles in the very cold liquid seas of Titan, which are made up of methane-ethane at a temperature of almost 300 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. These bubbles would hinder navigation of the submarine, and also make it difficult for onboard instruments to take images and collect data.

NASA lost contact with a satellite 12 years ago. An amateur just found its signal.

  NASA lost contact with a satellite 12 years ago. An amateur just found its signal. A 47-year-old electrical engineer and radio astronomer hunting for a spy satellite came across the supposedly dead and lost spacecraft.1.

NASA scientists believe solid methane was part of Titan ’ s original While Lunine and McKay wait for the next mission to Titan they try to recreate a little bit of Titan back in their labs , as they Explore # ocean # methane #Europa # Titan #Enceladus #life #marine life #extraterrestrial life #Goldilocks zone.

SAN DIEGO, CA -- Scientists at the U. S . Department of Energy' s Brookhaven National Laboratory have recreated the high-pressure, low-temperature conditions of the seafloor in a tabletop apparatus for the study of methane -hydrates, an abundant but currently

Even in the absence of bubbles, taking images and videos of the surroundings would be a challenging task, given the extreme cold, as well as pressure that is comparable to being under 30 meters (100 feet) of water. Fortunately, the presence of a small amount of nitrogen lowers the overall freezing temperature of the liquid from about minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 324 degrees Fahrenheit.

“That’s a big deal. That means you don’t have to worry about icebergs,’’ Richardson said in the statement.

The researchers worked around the temperature and pressure problems, and came up with a device that allowed them to capture video footage from inside the test chamber filled with liquid and snow methane-ethane.

Their findings appeared online Saturday in the journal Fluid Phase Equilibria, in a paper titled “Experimental PρT-x measurements of liquid methane-ethane-nitrogen mixtures.” NASA Glenn Research Center was also involved in the study.

“These measurements are being used to aid in thermodynamic modeling of the Titan seas as well as the design of the Titan Submarine,” the paper said of its findings.

Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Linked to Volcanos .
The impact of the collision might have aggravated cracks in the ocean floor.The six-mile-wide asteroid crashed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago and precipitated the mass extinction that brought about the end of the dinosaurs. New research shows that this may have also caused undersea volcanoes around the world to erupt, further intensifying the devastating environmental impact of the event.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!