Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Multimedia IconMultimedia

Sailing the Canyons of Titan

Global color view of Titan

Air Date: 08/16/2016
Run Time: 38:39

Listen to the full show:

Or Download mp3

Guests:

Topics: Cassini, Titan, podcasts and videos, Saturn's moons, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), comets, events and announcements, Planetary Radio, Planetary Society People, Mars, Deep Space 1, Planetary Society, comet Borrelly, Bill Nye

Support Planetary Radio

Steep canyons on Saturn's moon Titan are filled with liquid methane. That's the discovery just announced by an international team of Cassini scientists, including Alex Hayes. Emily Lakdawalla takes us up to Curiosity on Mars, while Bill Nye celebrates the US National Park Service. It's a Deep Space What's Up segment with Bruce Betts.

Flooded canyons on Titan

NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASI

Flooded canyons on Titan
NASA's Cassini spacecraft pinged the surface of Titan with microwaves, finding that some channels are deep, steep-sided canyons filled with liquid hydrocarbons. One such feature is Vid Flumina, the branching network of narrow lines in the upper-left quadrant of the image.

Related Links:

Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a gorgeous Planetary Society rubber asteroid and a 200-point iTelescope.net astronomy account.

iTelescope.net
iTelescope.net

This week's question:

If you designed an Olympic event for another world in our solar system, what would it be and where would it be? Mat and Bruce will very subjectively judge the coolness and/or humor of responses.

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at http://planetary.org/radiocontest or write to us at planetaryradio@planetary.org no later than Tuesday, August 23rd at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the name of the second tallest mountain on Mars?

Answer:

The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What spacecraft flew past comet 19P/Borrelly in 2001?

Answer:

Deep Space 1 was the spacecraft that encountered comet 19P/Borrelly in 2001.

CONTEST ENTRY FROM MARC RAYMAN, DEEP SPACE 1’S PROJECT MANAGER

Human memory is both very fallible and very deceptive, but my memory is that it was Deep Space 1. 

DS1's spectacular encounter with Borrelly was the culmination of its two-year extended mission and yielded NASA's first close-up pictures of the nucleus of a comet, as well as other data. (They were also the first cometary pictures sharp enough for geological analysis.) It was an exciting event, but many people may not have heard much about it at the time because it occurred on September 22, 2001, when the world's news was focused on other events. In addition to the value for science and the cool pictures, DS1's findings revealed unanticipated properties of comets that led to changes in the strategy for other comet encounters that NASA was then planning. Although DS1's extended mission was devoted exclusively to comet science, its primary mission had been dedicated to testing a dozen advanced, high risk technologies, some of which proved crucial for subsequent interplanetary missions. 

On a personal note, I am not only a fan of Planetary Radio, but I'm also a lifelong space enthusiast and was the project manager and leader of the team that flew DS1 to the comet. In the extremely rewarding career I've been lucky to have at JPL, of all my fascinating and exciting experiences, DS1's visit to Borrelly was certainly the single most thrilling. And on that, I am confident of the reliability of human memory.

Regards,
Marc Rayman, JPL
[Marc is also Chief Engineer and Mission Director for the Dawn mission now orbiting Ceres. He writes the Dawn Journal blog, and has been heard on Planetary Radio many times.]

Comments:

No trivia contest spoilers please!

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Planetary Radio Search

JOIN THE
PLANETARY SOCIETY

Beyond The Horizon, There's More To Explore!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!