Résumé / Abstract Seminaire_IAP
« Returning to Titan: How to do it and what to do there »

Jonathan Lunine

Saturn's largest moon Titan is a cloud shrouded world with a dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere overlaying a surface carved by rain, rivers, lakes and seas in which methane and ethane are the working fluid. It is the only body in the solar system besides Earth with an active liquid "hydrologic" cycle. Whether a form of life might exist in the methane seas, or instead Titan is the sterile and frozen counterpoint to the Earth, remains unclear. Indeed, many aspects of Titan's hydrologic system and the long-term evolution of this Mercury-sized world will remain unknown after the end of the Cassini mission, just recently renewed for a 7 year second-extended mission. I will discuss future exploration of Titan, in particular, concepts for returning to Titan within a decade after the end of Cassini-Huygens, and what the next generation of probes should do there.
vendredi 10 septembre 2010 - 11:00
Salle des séminaires Évry Schatzman, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
Page web du séminaire / Seminar's webpage