Titan, Saturn’s largest moon has itself a very Earthlike geography. Sure, it’s poisonous as all fuck, but it’s got methane lakes, sand dunes, and a thick atmosphere. As well, Astronomical Wizards believe the son of a bitch has seasonal rainstorms and flooding to boot.
Randy Kirk thinks that there’s an ice volcano on Saturn. And dammit, I hope the guy is right. Tell us more, New Scientist!
Named Sotra, the volcano is nearly 1 kilometre tall and has a 1.6-kilometre-deep pit alongside it. Surrounded by giant sand dunes, it is thought to be the largest in a string of several volcanoes that once spewed molten ice from deep beneath the moon’s surface.
“We think we have found the strongest case yet for an ice volcano on Titan,” said Randy Kirk, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. “What we see is not just a flow like we see in other places, it’s like a volcanic field would be on Earth.”
The team cannot be certain if the chain is active, but described the find as the best evidence found so far for a cryovolcano, or ice volcano. Previously, bright spots seen in low-resolution satellite images have been interpreted as volcanic flows and craters. However, once those areas were mapped in 3D, it became obvious they weren’t volcanoes.
“We had noted Sotra Facula as a candidate cryovolcano before,” said Rosaly Lopes at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “But it was only when Randy got the topography done that we realised, wow, this is it.”
Righteous. But what is even more righteous? The concept of a fucking cryovolcano. You can’t just call that shit an ice volcano. That sounds pedestrian! Cryovolcano! A volcano that shoots molten ice. I have a space-dork chubby. This shit ounds like something I absolutely need to cast in an RPG.