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AS101 Week 11 Lecture 2.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Patrick Mc Graw

AS101 Week 11 Lecture 2 Saturn's Moon Titan  Thick atmosphere (1.5 times the pressure of Earth's)  Atmosphere: 98% nitrogen (rest mostly methane, some hydrogen)  Lakes of liquid methane + ethane on surface  Probably liquid water under surface ice  Huygens probe landed on surface, 2005  Picture taken during descent shows possible shoreline and rivers  Radar map from Cassini spacecraft (mothership of Huygens) shows a long river system.  Lots of complex organic molecules.  Chemistry similar to early Earth.  A possible place for life to develop? Moons of Jupiter  Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto  Io: closest to Jupiter -> heated up most by tidal forces Io  Elsewhere in the solar system, small objects (like the planet Mercury) lose their internal heat quickly after they formed, and so geological activity (volcanism, etc.) stopped long ago.  But some of the satellites around Jovian planets are still being heated by tidal stresses.  Io is the closest to Jupiter of the four large Galilean satellites and shows active volcanoes. Europa  Cracks in surface ice suggest liquid underneath.  Smooth surface without craters also suggests the surface is active, and
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