Sunday, November 09, 2014

First Glimpse of the Seas of Titan

Space is one of those subjects that I loved as a child, but have even more appreciation for as an adult.

The thought of infinite stars, and worlds of endless variety, puts our own lives sharply in perspective.

I think science fiction, whether it be books, TV, or video games, has greatly contributed to the imagination of what lies beyond our own planet. I'm playing Mass Effect 3 right now, to finish one of the most amazing fictional series that I've experienced, in any medium. These works of art help us envision humanity's place in the galaxy, and to imagine the many worlds and forms of life that may exist throughout the Universe.

When I saw this picture on Neatorama of Saturn's moon, Titan, it immediately instilled that sense of wonder from seeing a new world & imagining the human experience of being there, in person.

The image, taken in the infrared wavelength, shows the sunlight reflecting off Titan's polar seas, which are mostly liquid methane & ethane.

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

I can imagine myself floating in a capsule over this alien ocean & taking in the sight of the environment of another world. Who knows what amazing environments exist on other planets & moons? I wonder how many of these will one day be seen by humans eyes...

Here is a 3D visualization of the surface of Titan, by artist Steven Hobbs:

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